Hello! We’re fresh off a 5 day trip to Disney World, so I thought it would be the perfect time to share a Sober Travel Diaries, Disney World edition.
I got so many questions about where we stayed, what we did, what we saw, etc. that I thought it would be easiest to round it all up in a post! I’m even sharing the socks I wore to keep me comfortable all day long. 😉
If you’re wanting tips and inspiration for navigating Disney World sober, stay tuned because that post is coming!
SOBER TRAVEL DIARIES | DISNEY WORLD
We’ve wanted to take the kids to Disney World for awhile, but also wanted to avoid peak times like Spring break or Winter break. So, we decided to go over Martin Luther King weekend. It also worked out perfectly because they ended up only missing one day of school instead of two, since school was cancelled on Friday because of a huge snowstorm (that really never materialized).
WHERE DID WE STAY?
We stayed at The Polynesian Village Resort, which is on the Disney property. It’s branded as the home of Moana, so think Hawaiian-themed…well, everything. Literally, everything. If Disney knows how to do one thing, it’s to overdo everything. From pineapple ice cream to the tiki torches lighting every path, you’d think you’re in Hawaii. Kind of. We stayed in the Hawaii section and chose to stay on the Club level. If you have the option and resources to stay on the Club level at hotels, I highly recommend it. It’s all-you-can-eat/drink all throughout the day and night and is great with kids and not having to deal with making reservations for sit down dinners at the end of a long day. The Polynesian’s Club Level is a different experience than a Four Seasons Club Level – just something to keep in mind. Most of the time, I was eating mac and cheese and chocolate chip cookies right along with the kids, which was totally fine. It’s much busier than other Clubs I’ve experienced, especially early in the morning as guests are heading off to the park, and at night at 8pm for the nightly Disney fireworks show and dessert. Still, it’s worth the access to snacks and food (and coffee!) whenever we want it.
The pool at the hotel is incredible and the girls swam their hearts out. It has a zero depth area for Gray, a fun waterslide (that I went on a handful of times, even in the rain!), and a waterpark area that we didn’t get to because the pool was enough.
Because we booked our stay a bit last minute, we had two queen beds for all 5 of us in one room. I was nervous going into it because the last time we all stayed in a hotel room together it was a bit of a shit show. This trip was much easier.
We landed Friday evening, and the kids headed right to the pool. We weren’t scheduled to go to The Magic Kingdom until Saturday morning at 9am. It was nice having a little time to settle in and get the lay of the land.
We didn’t go into the trip having a set schedule of where we wanted to go or what we wanted to do. One of the best decisions we made was hiring a VIP Disney Tour Guide.
WHAT’S A VIP DISNEY TOUR GUIDE?
I debated whether or not to share this part because I know that hiring a VIP Disney Tour Guide isn’t an option for a lot of people. But I’ve been getting a lot of questions about it because some of you super sleuths spotted our guide, Mallory, in my IG Stories. 😉 If you have the option to hire a guide, I can’t recommend it enough.
We hired her for both Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 4pm. We told her what we wanted to see and what the kids are interested in, and she was able to plan out our days for us.
The best part was the access that came with it. No waiting in long lines, no having to figure out where to go. We entered each park from the backstage areas, and she swept us onto most of the rides without waiting. For a few of the more popular rides, we waited with the lightning lane, but still it was never more than 10 minutes.
Because of the efficiency and privilege that came with it, we were able to hit up both Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom on Saturday (16 rides!) and Hollywood Studios and EPCOT on Sunday.
OUR FAVORITE RIDES AT MAGIC KINGDOM
- SEVEN DWARFS MINE TRAIN | This was my 6 year old’s first rollercoaster and it was her favorite ride of the trip! Such a fun beginner’s ride.
- PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN | A fun boat ride through the Pirate’s movie – there were a few spots that scared Gray, but overall it was pretty tame.
- HAUNTED MANSION | OK, I say this was a favorite, but the girls did not love it. The Mister and I did, though. Lol. It’s a bit scary for the little ones (Gray didn’t even chance it.). I loved the creepy factor.
- BIG THUNDER MOUNTAIN RAILROAD | We realized the kids aren’t big on rollercoasters, but that didn’t stop The Mister and I from riding this one on our own.
- THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH | Such an adorable, sweet ride. You ride in a Hunny Pot and it’s perfect for all ages.
- DISNEY FESTIVAL OF FANTASY PARADE | Such a fun parade! The kids loved seeing the characters up close – the floats were amazing. It was a good time to grab lunch and take a little down time. And of course, I had to have the Mickey Mouse pretzel with cheese. Yum.
OUR FAVORITE RIDES AT ANIMAL KINGDOM
We didn’t spend as much time at Animal Kingdom as we did Magic Kingdom, but we did go back on Sunday for our last 30 minutes with Mallory!
- AVATAR FLIGHT OF PASSAGE | My 9 year old (and The Mister!) loved this ride so much, that she begged us to go back after EPCOT on Sunday so she could ride it one last time.
- NA’VI RIVER JOURNEY | This boat ride feels like you’re in a dream and is great for all ages! My 6 and 4 year old went on it twice, and I was more than happy to join them.
- KILIMANJARO SAFARI | We had to see some lions for my Lion King-loving 4 year old! We didn’t catch the Lion King show, but this was enough for him.
OUR FAVORITE RIDES AT HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS
- MILLENNIUM FALCON: SMUGGLERS RUN | You get to fly the Millennium Falcon! I think this was The Mister’s dream. Gray sat this one out – he was too young to understand that it was all pretend, which I totally get because everything looks SO real. The girls loved it!
- STAR WARS: RISE OF THE RESISTANCE | This ride is BANANAS. It’s more of an experience and totally feels like you’re in the movie. You’re “captured” and taken aboard and then you have to battle the First Order.
- TOY STORY MANIA! | This is such a fun shooting game/ride! Even Gray got into. It’s like all of your favorite carnival games, but on a ride.
- SLINKY DOG DASH | OK, the girls planned to go on this rollercoaster with us, but as soon as we got up there, they chickened out and The Mister and I went on it together. Lol. Maybe next time.
- THE TWILIGHT ZONE TOWER OF TERROR | My favorite ride! The kids stayed with Mallory because there was no way they were going on it.
- MICKEY & MINNIE’S RUNAWAY RAILROAD | This is a must ride with the classic Disney characters that we grew up loving.
A quick word about our experience at EPCOT: This was our last park of the two days with Mallory, and it was raining and pretty cold. So, we spent the least amount of time there.
OUR FAVORITE RIDES AT EPCOT
- FROZEN EVER AFTER | I loved this boat ride so much, but it might have been because Gray slept on my chest during the whole ride. 😍
- SOARIN’ OVER CALIFORNIA | Such a fun experience! You “fly” over California and it feels so real.
- REMY’S RATATOUILLE ADVENTURE | OK, the kids loved this one, but it was a bit much for me and my vertigo. This is really the only one that left me feeling pretty sick. I had to close my eyes for parts.
HERE’S WHAT I WORE AT DISNEY
The weather was all over the place, so it was all about comfortable layers…