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Last month we headed down to my hometown, Orlando, FL, to take Remy to Disney World for the very first time. It was truly such an amazing experience! Growing up in Florida we went to Disney lots, and lots. My Dad was definitely a Disney Dad, and it has always been such a special place to me. I dreamed of one day taking my kids there, and Remy very early on showed a love for all things Mickey Mouse. The Hot Dog Dance – “Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog” was on repeat in our house and car for a very long time.
This past summer we started planning the trip. I really wanted to have both sets of our parents there, along with some friends of ours that love and go to Disney all of the time. Having such a big group was so much fun, and watching Remy with my best friend’s kids was truly so special. Especially since they all live in Florida, and we don’t get to see them as often as we’d like.
Disney has changed so much over the years, so I wanted to share some things to help you when planning your next Disney vacation.
First off, the biggest question I got while we were on our trip was if there were rides that Remy could go on and enjoy. The answer is yes! There are lots of them, so I’ll include a list of those as well.
We only went to Magic Kingdom and Epcot this trip, so we are already starting to think about when we can go back and take Remy to Animal Kingdom (he would love because he’s obsessed with animals), and Hollywood Studios.
Once we booked our hotel stay at The Grand Floridian we had a user account and password set up. This is what we used to log on to the Disney World website. Through this website you book all of your Fast Passes for rides, make dining reservations, etc. You can even share your plans with family and friends that will be joining you on the trip, so everything is synced together under “My Plans”. It’s pretty amazing. They also have an app version of it, which was super helpful when we were at the parks. It allowed us to check and see what time our next ride was that we had a Fast Pass for, and also allowed you to check current wait times for other rides. This definitely did not exist when I was a kid, and it made it so easy with a little one. We never had to wait in lines, which as you can imagine was a lifesaver with a toddler.
We really enjoyed staying at the Grand Floridian. It is the quintessential Disney hotel, and where I’d always wanted to stay. It was the perfect location for the two parks we went to as well. You can easily take the monorail to Magic Kingdom, or a boat from the hotel there too. To get to Epcot you can also take the monorail with a quick change at the Transportation Station.
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Eating and Dining:
Since I grew up going to Disney so much, there were several restaurants that I always loved, and that we’d always go to. So, I’m including a list of ones that we dined at along with some that I just love.
Cinderella’s Royal Table at Magic Kingdom – such a fun experience for kids. Enjoy finer dining with the characters. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get us a reservation with our party size there. But, definitely next time!
Enchanted Rose – a beautiful bar in The Grand Floridian. A great spot for an after dinner drink. We grabbed a glass of wine there one night. They just renovated this bar.
Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom – Casual/American dining. Offers a sit-down restaurant meal, but also pretty quick experience.
The Diamond Horseshoe at Magic Kingdom – Old Western music hall, which offers American food.
Chef Mickey’s – this is located in the Contemporary Resort, which is right next to the Grand Floridian. This is a buffet style breakfast with all of the classic Disney characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Daisy and Pluto). We chose this character breakfast because these are the characters that Remy is most familiar with. The characters come around to each table, so you can get pictures, etc. It was really fun!
La Hacienda de San Angel at Epcot – this restaurant is located inside of Mexico. They offer authentic Mexican food as well as great margaritas with a waterfront view. Inside of Mexico there is also a little boat ride, which Remy loved. This has always been a favorite of mine.
Tutto Italia Ristorante at Epcot – this restaurant is located in Italy, and has amazing Italian food. We did not dine there this time (just in Mexico while there), but it has also always been a favorite of mine.
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A few other favorites:
Teppan Edo at Epcot – traditional Japanese dishes cooked hibachi style
Nine Dragons Restaurant at Epcot – contemporary Chinese cuisine with traditional decor, etc.
Le Cellier Steakhouse at Epcot – Great steakhouse located in Canada
Epcot definitely has the majority of restaurants and fine dining experiences with all of the different countries there.
Rose & Crown Pub at Epcot – located in the United Kingdom. A true British pub. Always crowded, but fun to pop in for a quick drink.
The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios – American cuisine with a golden age theme of Hollywood. A unique experience with characters for actors and actresses on all of the walls. Always a favorite!
California Grill – at the Contemporary Hotel. Contemporary California cooking with amazing views of Magic Kingdom and their firework show. We had our parents watch the kids, and did a date night there while visiting. I had never been, and it was such an amazing experience. Kids are definitely welcome as well! The fireworks start at 8, so you’ll want to get a reservation a little before then. Ours was at 7:30.
Here is the full list of restaurants.
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Rides for Remy’s age group at Magic Kingdom & Epcot:
Peter Pan – Magic Kingdom – books up the quickest
Winnie the Pooh – Magic Kingdom
Under the Sea – Magic Kingdom
It’s a Small World – Magic Kingdom
Dumbo – Magic Kingdom – Remy’s favorite!
Jungle Cruise – Magic Kingdom – we didn’t do, but it’s a boat ride with animals
Pirates of the Caribbean – Magic Kingdom – we didn’t do, but also a boat ride. This one is inside & dark. Also loud cannons, so I was worried Remy was a little too young, and that he might be scared.
Frozen – Epcot
Nemo – Epcot – when you get off the ride it’s an aquarium to walk around
Spaceship Earth – Epcot – inside of the big ball
Gran Fiesta Tour – Epcot – a boat ride located inside of Mexico. Usually a quick line.
I hope this all helps when planning your next Disney World vacation. As always, please reach out with any questions !
I also rounded up all of the Disney outfits that I got for Remy. They make super cute girl versions, so I included them here as well.
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Plus lots of questions on the custom Disney ears that I had made for everyone. You can shop those here.
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