So you may have read a while back my GF up and decided we would take a trip to Disney World. Funny thing is she credits the idea to me. Believe it or not I’ve never been to Disney… well actually I can’t say that anymore how about: Believe it or not prior to last Friday, I’ve never been to Disney… for now I am someone who can say “Disney? yeah I’ve been there!”
We flew out on a Friday morning at the butt crack of dawn. We booked our flight through Spirit Airlines which, while cheapest around, isn’t always a pleasant experience… however we were fortunate and our flight departed on time and without incident.
Actually more than that… we landed in Orlando a full 40 minutes early! We opted to stay at a Disney resort, Pop Century, so shuttle transportation came complimentary with our room. We navigated the airport to the designated area and I kid you not… from the moment we glanced in that direction there were friendly smiles and greetings and “right-this-way”s everywhere! With one scan of our “Magic Bands” they greeted us by name and knew exactly what bus we needed to be on. Without question this was EXACTLY the reason we decided to stay “on property”. Zero hassle! No renting a car, navigating a strange city, finding a parking spot… we didn’t even need to claim our luggage it was taken directly from the airport to our rooms.
Pop Century is one of several budget resorts we had to choose from. It just so happened to have the best rate but later we came to find out that it is the best of the value resort options. It’s themed exactly as it sounds: pop culture over the past 50 or so years with each building representing a decade. We stayed in the 50’s which had giant bowling pins for stairways and the rooms were very 1950s motel looking (although Idk if the other era rooms looked any different but I found it to be clever). The rooms were pretty plain, nothing special, and I only had 1 minor gripe that we had no in-room coffee maker. Really? That’s like a thing nowadays ya know …come on… I can’t think of any hotel I’ve stayed at in recent years that didn’t provide in-room coffee.
We didn’t dally long, we threw all of our crap into the room and hurried out to catch the bus to the Magic Kingdom…
We arrived at noon and I would have to say for a first-timer it was extremely overwhelming. I’m no stranger to theme parks, we visited 2 just last summer, but nothing can prepare you for the “busy” that is Disney. We knew from our planning that this was a bad time to go due to heavy crowds and they weren’t joking! For a good half hour to an hour we just wandered not quite knowing what to do first.
Of all things we walked onto the “Carousel of Progress” to start things off… simply because there was no wait. After that we killed some time by shopping until we were due for our FastPass for Space Mountain. Every where we looked the wait times were 30 mins + so each and every time we had to ask ourselves “is it worth spending that much time out of the day to do this activity?” There was a lot of construction going on at the park, I must say they disguise it well, but there were several barriers blocking certain views and I found it difficult to find my way around.
As the day went on things were getting easier and we became used to dodging strollers and cutting to the edges to get around the slow walkers. But we were only averaging about one ride each hour and that’s even with the Fast Pass system. We hit all of the original Disney rides …certain things were shut down for whatever reason and other things just weren’t worth the wait. Naturally I was taking hundreds of pictures of every little thing I could find. I like having our trips well documented and besides… you never know what pictures will turn out when you are constantly on the move. Here are some of the highlights:
Suddenly we became very aware that the parade was going to start because we were being shoo’d by Disney employees and there was a gigantic mass of people standing on every possible square inch of open space. We got stuck in a loop where we couldn’t stop. We couldn’t find a place to sit, we couldn’t make our way to any rides, we simply had to follow some crazy traffic pattern until finally we broke free and away from the madness. It was insanely frustrating!! Later, after the majority of the huge mob left we caught the “Wishes” show and the second parade of the evening with front row seating.
I have to say both were amazing! And after that it was midnight and the park was closing so we headed to the busses to go back to our room and pass out! Absolutely exhausted!!