Today I got back from my whirlwind Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend in Disney. I am exhausted and trying to decide what I want to blog about first. Then I realized that I posted about our Tower of Terror 10 Miler costumes and about the race itself but not about the rest of our Disney trip. How silly of me! So before I start posting about my November trip here is a recap of October!
Our October Disney trip was about one thing…MagicBands! This was our first trip since February and we were so excited that we were staying in a hotel that was testing the new MagicBand system. I now think all hotels are running the system. We customized our bands online a month or two before our trip. We all got different colors and our names are engraved on the inside of the band. We also connected them to our annual passes and were able to use the new FastPass+ system.
FastPass+ was a little difficult to understand at first, but once we got the hang of it we pre-booked all our FastPass+ experiences before we left! It was kind of nice pre-planning what parks we were going to what days. They make it so the FastPasses are still an hour apart and you can only get 3 per day in one park. You can still use your key to the world (room key) card for paper FastPasses if you want though.
We had decided to stay at Port Orleans Riverside. I have been trying to do a new hotel every time we stay to see which ones I like. Riverside was awesome! I loved the property itself and the rooms were pretty nice. They even had a hideaway bed to fit an extra person.
On our first day we headed over to the Magic Kingdom and got to see all the fall and Halloween decorations.
We went on a few rides using our preplanned FastPass+ reservations. It was simple to use once you got the hang of it. I am a big fan of the stands with the Mickey’s that glow green when you are accepted :) We also searched around for some characters. Buzz had a huge line but we stayed in it anyway.
Our main reason for going to Magic Kingdom that night though was for my first every Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! I was very excited to dress up and see all the different things they did during these special parties
Kristen dressed as Esmerelda
Jill was the cutest Russell
And I decided on Fix It Felix
The party itself was great. Almost everyone in the park was dressed up. Sometimes it was hard to figure out who was a visitor and who worked there! Kristen was the costume of the night. The cast members every night had to find a character and our night was Esmerelda. Every cast member we passed asked Kristen’s name so they could get a free Mickey ice cream! We also got to go on rides in our costumes. Splash Mountain was closed for refurbishment the last time I was there so I wanted to make sure we rode it.
We tried to pose for the picture like each of our characters. It was pretty funny until Cheryl realized that her costume was not waterproof. Her clothes and most of her skin got dyed bright red for most of the night! She was a trooper though and we ate ice cream cookie sandwiches and sat outside while her costume dried enough for her to wear it again.
Not only was it my first time in Disney for Halloween….I also had my firs Dole Whip! It was just as good as people said it would be. I got orange ice cream and pineapple juice. Yum!
My favorite part was the cool scary inspired additions. We took an awesome picture outside my second favorite ride, The Haunted Mansion. At the time we just had to look scared but when we went to see the photo edited it was awesome!
I also loved how all the characters had Halloween costumes on and even the staff had spooky additions to their normal uniforms. My <3 Tigger was dressed as a cute pirate!
The characters of the night were Jack and Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. The line was almost 2 hours long. We waited toward the end of the night when most of the smaller kids had already left but we still had to wait quite a while. It was worth it though!
I also got to see my first Boo To You Parade. I really enjoyed it but I almost wish it was longer. The Headless Horseman opening up the parade was just as cool as I had read about.
The next day we spent at Animal Kingdom. I saw my <3 Tigger and we got an epic ride picture on Everest. We started there in the morning, went over to the expo for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler and then headed back over after for my favorite part of our trip. The Wild Africa Trek!
We saw they were running a special discount when we were booking our trip and I love the safari at Animal Kingdom so we decided to splurge and get the trek. It was an awesome experience. The group is pretty small so you get to experience everything first hand without battling other people to do things. We got harnesses and vests when we started as well as our own canteens and headsets to head the guides.
Our first stop was the hippos. We got hooked to a pulley system and got to go lean out over the water and watch the hippo eat. Pretty cool!
Next we walked through the jungle of the safari to an awesome rickety bridge. We got harnessed again and made our way across one by one. The guides took pictures of everyone the whole time and all the pictures you could download free after! It was great to be able to experience everything not behind the lens of a camera but still get these great shots.
The end of the rope bridge had us walking over the alligator pit. Pretty cool!
Then we got hooked up to another pulley system to go out over the alligator pit. Those things are massive and it’s awesome to see them up close since you roll by so fast in the safari jeeps.
After that the harnesses came off and we got our own private savannah tour. We stopped a lot along the way to take up close pictures and learn more about the animals and the way they are cared for. Jill even got to see her favorite giraffes up close!
Next we stopped off at a private hut on the savannah and had an exclusive meal prepared for us. It was so delicious! The only way to get it is to go on the trek. You can’t find the food anywhere else in Disney. The hut also had a walkway all around and I got to see zebras! I learned they are the assholes of the safari but they are still my favorite.
The trek was an awesome experience. It is not for kids but anyone with teens who like animals and want to do something different in Disney, this is the way to go.
Post trek we headed over to Hollywood Studios where we got to use the FastPass+ system again. I mean knowing what time you will be riding Toy Story Midway Mania on a crowded weekend is such a plus! And we didn’t even have to step foot in the park earlier in the day to get a FastPass.
We rode Rockin Roller Coaster and Jill couldn’t keep her eyes open! I also discovered there was a back part of Hollywood Studios! I did not even know the Muppets and Star Tours were back there! Mind = Blown
Then we had dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre. The last time we were there was when we were in grade school with my parents. It was bittersweet to look back and remember my dad. He loved it there because he used to love old sci-fi movies like the blob and the thing. <3
It was even fall at Downtown Disney. I loved seeing all the decorations while wearing shorts and a tank top!
We decided to wait until the day after the 10 miler to finally head over to Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. It was my first time and even though I tried to consciously think ahead I knew I would overdo it. We ate a lot right in the beginning and it was crazy hot out. The food was delicious and smaller portions but still a little much for my stomach.
We took some time out to go see some of our favorite characters, but towards the end I had to call it quits.
Even though it makes me sickly I still had my favorite dessert creme brûlée! It was fabulous even though our attempt at extra magic hours at the Magic Kingdom after was rough.
We started out our final day with a boat ride to the Polynesian and breakfast at Kona Cafe. My favorite place for breakfast!
Then we enjoyed the sunshine for a few more hours and went on some rides at the Magic Kingdom. Jill finally kept her eyes open!
We also checked out the new Princess Fairytale Hall. It was nice but I didn’t like that you had to wait in two separate lines to see the princesses. We only waited for Aurora and Cinderella.
Somehow Kristen snagged a lunch reservation at Be Our Guest. I tried the grey stuff and it really is delicious! The decor inside is awesome but it is also a mad house because everyone wants to eat there. It took a while for our pre-ordered food to come out but it was good. We are going for dinner in January. I can’t wait!
We ended our trip with one more first. Our first Mickey ice cream! It was refreshing on such a hot day.
All in all it was a fabulous trip with some awesome people. I loved having everything planned out ahead of time so we weren’t standing around going “now what.” My only issue with the MagicBands is that you can’t reuse them. For our next few trips we had to order brand new bands! I am going to have a bunch come January. We are staying at two hotels and they are making us get two different ones! It seems silly but they are still in “testing” according to Disney. I hope they work out the kinks so people aren’t running around with hundreds of MagicBands.
Up next will be my Wine and Dine weekend recap!