We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge with my family in October for two nights (we stayed at Port Orleans Riverside for two nights as well). This resort is a deluxe resort but has one of the lower rates of that category, especially for a standard view room. There are many who consider AKL one of the best resorts at WDW, but we were not on board with that assessment. Although we enjoyed our stay, we have found other resorts, like Port Orleans Riverside, to better suit us. For some, however, AKL could be a great choice. Check out our review of each aspect of the hotel to help guide your decision:
The lobby at AKL is definitely as grand as pictures make it seem--The tall ceilings and large windows are striking as soon as you walk through the doors. Like any Disney property, there are plenty of details that bring the theme together; my favorite is the chandeliers, which I think look like wings...or flowers?
Thanks to the wide range of temperatures that can occur November - February at Walt Disney World, it can be hard to know what to pack when your list for any other time of the year would be a simple as some shorts, sandals, and a whole lot of sun screen. Although it's always important to double check the weather before you leave in case the temperatures will be out of the norm for your trip, here's what we suggest you bring in your suitcase; this list is tailored for women, but it can be easily adjusted for men. If you're looking for a packing list for your park bag, you can find ours here!
There are endless possibilities of for fun when spending the day at the Magic Kingdom; some of the best rides, stage shows, and fireworks can be found at Walt Disney World's first park. But after several hours of hitting that ride itinerary hard, you may find yourself wanting to just sit back in some air conditioning and relax for a bit, maybe with a delicious snack in hand?
If you're wanting to plan some downtime into your Magic Kingdom itinerary, here are our favorite places to just hang out and actually take the time to enjoy all the magic the park has to offer!
This slow-moving ride that takes you on a tour of Tomorrowland is often overlooked; we think this has a lot to do with the fact that it is not given a wait time, so it is not listed on the My Disney Experience app. But if you're looking to take it slow for a little while and just take in the sights, there's no better place to go! You'll enjoy 10 minutes of continuous people-watching and will even get a glimpse inside Space Mountain. We especially love the Peoplemover at night, when Space Mountain and Cinderella castle are lit up in all their glory.
On my first solo trip to WDW in June of 2017, I stayed at the All Star Music Resort to save a little dough. Since I was by myself, I wasn't going to be spending much time in the room, so an All Star Resort seemed like the best choice. If you're considering staying at ASM, I've given a comprehensive review here so you can see if this resort would be right for you!
Since my last stay at WDW had been at the Beach Club on our honeymoon (you can read my review of that resort here), it was a little bit difficult to form my judgment of All Star Music without too much bias. My immediate reaction up on walking in the room was of...well, disappointment. I had low expectations upon booking, but when you board the Magical Express all logical thinking just goes right out the window...
Anyways, once I reminded myself that I was paying 1/3 of what we paid for our honeymoon accommodations, I was able to properly assess the room. Although the decor at ASM isn't particularly striking, it isn't as gaudy as I anticipated, either. The wallpaper isn't my cup of tea, but otherwise it's pretty simple.
I was excited to see that I had been given a king bed, which is a handicap accessible room --I booked a preferred room but not one that was specifically designated as a king bed or accessible room. There are only three options when booking a room at ASM: Standard Room, Preferred Room, or Family Suite.
All three rooms could have views of a courtyard, parking lot, or pool. The preferred rooms are all in the Calypso building, which is closest to the lobby, and the family suite can sleep up to 6 and has two bathrooms and a sitting room.
Pandora--World of Avatar truly is a world unto itself. It's beautiful, it's immersive, and it's home to two new rides that live up to the Disney standard. You could spend a whole afternoon just taking everything in, and if you have the time, we recommend doing just that; The Na'avi River Journey is visually striking, the tribal music show that pops up throughout the day is a lot of fun, the Satu'li Canteen menu takes an impressive step outside the standard Disney quick service menu, we could go on and on with all the Pandora has to offer. But if your time is limited and you can't spend half your day on the Pandora moon, here are the 5 things you can't miss.
1. Ride Flight of Passage
The GIANT wait Flight of Passage has been racking up each day is enough to turn any reasonably-minded person away. But this ride is THE most amazing thing I have ever experienced. Think Soarin', but more immersive, more impressive, more jaw-dropping. If there's only one thing you do in Pandora, it needs to be this.
To do it without waiting for 3+ hours, you need a fastpass, which means making sure you're prepared to book the second your fastpass window opens. If you can't get a FP, you have a few other options: rope drop the ride or wait until park closing. The ride hasn't been closing at capacity before park closing in the last few weeks like it had been the few weeks after opening, so if you can manage to stay awake late, get in line just before the park closes. You can save yourself precious park time by waiting to ride until the end of the night. Whatever option you go with, enjoy your ride on the back of a banshee!
Kona Cafe is a restaurant at the Polynesian Village Resort that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is located on the upper level and overlooks the lobby's resident Tiki-man, one of my favorite Walt Disney World icons.
Besides the food, the best things about Kona Cafe is that because the Polynesian is on the monorail line and the exit out to board the monorail is right next to the restaurant, it is a very good early breakfast option for a Magic Kingdom or Epcot day. The restaurant usually opens at 7:30 AM, so if you can manage to get an early reservation, you could potentially eat and still make it to Magic Kingdom in time for a 9 AM opening. On the reverse side, you could start your day rope-droping Magic Kingdom then make it to Kona in time for a late breakfast, which is served until 11:15 AM.
This post was updated 8/26/17 with updated maps and entertainment times
Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party is a hard-ticket event that takes place in the Magic Kingdom select nights the end of August through the beginning of November. "Hard-ticket" is a term that means it is an event that has a limited number of tickets sold, and only those holding this special ticket may partake in the event. You do NOT need a park ticket for the party in addition to the party ticket, so if you have a 4-day ticket and you want to attend a party on your 5th day, you may, although you will only be allowed to enter Magic Kingdom starting at 4 PM. Upon entering the park after 4 PM, you will receive a special wrists band to show you "belong" there. If you are already in the park prior to 4 PM, you can get a wristband at various locations throughout the park. When the party officially begins at 7 PM, those without wristbands are no longer allowed to enter ride lines and are otherwise directed out of the park.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party takes place on the following dates in 2017:
Tickets are now an sale as of 5/10/17. The prices are as follows:
August 25, 29
Adult: $74 + tax, Child: $69 + tax
September 1, 7, 10, 12, 17, 24
Adult: $74 + tax, Child: $69 + tax
September 19, 26
Adult: $79 + tax, Child: $74 + tax
September 15, 22, 29
Adult: $88 + tax, Child: $83 + tax
Adult: $88 + tax, Child: $83 + tax
October 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 15, 17, 19, 22, 24, 26
Adult: $94 + tax, Child: $89 + tax
October 6, 13, 20, 27, 29
Adult: $99 + tax, Child: $94 + tax
Adult: $115 + tax, Child: $110 + tax
Passholders can purchase up to four tickets.
Annual Passholder Blackout Dates: Sept. 20, Oct. 4, 10-31
DVC Members can purchase up to six tickets.
DVC Blackout Dates: Sept. 20, Oct. 23-31
Active duty, retired, and disabled members of the military can purchase up to six tickets.
Military Blackout Dates: Sept. 23, Oct. 2-31
I'm in the midst planning my first solo trip to Walt Disney World, and it's got me thinking about what things I consider MUST-do's on any trip. Like, the things I wake up in the morning wishing I was doing instead of blow-drying my hair and trying to find something I can eat for breakfast in the car without making a mess. I limited myself to 10 things, which, honestly, was really hard. But you've gotta stop somewhere, I guess.
If you're taking a quick trip or are looking to add some "can't-miss" things to your itinerary, here's what I recommend.