As I’ve mentioned a few times on the blog, D and I are taking a vacation to Disney World next month. To say I’m excited would be an understatement! Disney World has been one of our favorite vacation destinations since we got together, and we’ve been a number of times. The last time we were there was 2015 and quite a lot has changed while we’ve been away. I thought it would be fun to take a look at what’s on my Disney World Wishlist this year!
Pandora: The World of Avatar
The biggest change at Disney since our last visit is the grand opening of a new land in Animal Kingdom: Pandora. The land looks amazing with floating mountains and bio-luminescent plants. There are two new attractions, some dining options and lots of souvenir shops. It’s been a long time since Disney built a brand new full land like this in any of its Orlando parks, so it will be exciting to see what they’ve done and what the attractions are like.
I’ve already reserved some fast passes for the two rides since I’ve heard that the wait times are off the charts. Pandora: World of Avatar just opened in May of this year, so as you can imagine crowds will be a challenge. I’m hoping we’ll still be able to experience everything on our wishlist!
Exploring a New-to-Us Resort
The past several years when staying at Disney World, we’ve stayed at Coronado Springs. I love that resort – it’s one of the moderates so it isn’t as pricey as some, but it’s so nice and peaceful.
This year, we decided to change things up a little, and we’ll be staying at the Beach Club resort. Why is this so exciting to me? Because it’s RIGHT NEXT to Epcot! I’ve heard that from the resort to Epcot is only a five minute walk. If you’ve never been to Disney World before, you may not know that the parks and hotels are far enough apart that you need to take a 10 – 20 minute bus ride to get from one to the next. D and I always spend multiple days at Epcot, not only for the atmosphere, but for all the great dinners you can have at World Showcase. I can’t wait to see how much easier this makes our trip.
Back during our last trip in 2015, Downtown Disney was just beginning its transition to Disney Springs. There was a LOT of construction going on, but not really anything new open yet. This year Disney Springs is fully built, and I don’t know if I’ll even recognize the place anymore.
For those unfamiliar, Downtown Disney/Disney Springs is the shopping and dining district of Disney World. Previously, there were mostly Disney-oriented stores, but now after the transformation the shopping selection is much broader. It’s kind of nice to know there’s a place to do non-Disney shopping for clothes, accessories, shoes, or whatever else. I always felt that was somewhat lacking before.
We’ve already booked a dinner at one of the new restaurants, Morimoto Asia, which I’m really excited about! This Morimoto is the famous Morimoto from the Food Network (think: Iron Chef).
Of course, no trip to Disney World would be complete without revisiting all our old favorites. This is especially important this trip because since we last visited SO MANY old attractions have been closed down – some without more than a month’s warning (this just happened with the Great Movie Ride and Ellen’s Energy Adventure). I want to make sure we get to see everything we love this year, just in case. There are so many upcoming changes planned that who knows what the future will hold.
Without fail, the very first thing we do on our first day is the Magic Kingdom. And the very first thing we do there is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority’s Peoplemover.
It’s one of my favorite things to do even though it’s more of a tour than a ride. Tomorrowland is one of my favorite places if for nothing else than the spacey atmosphere. One time during the Peoplemover ride, Space Mountain was down for a repair and the lights were on in that portion of the ride. It was fascinating to see all the tracks lit up!
Something else that’s always on our to do list for Disney trips is visiting Japan at Epcot. They have an amazing Japanese shop there called Mitsukoshi where you can buy all sorts of memorabilia as well as Japanese snacks. Since Japan itself is such a special place for us, this is always a must do. We’re also having dinner at one of the Japanese restaurants here.
We’re going to be at the parks during the Halloween season which actually starts in early September. I love seeing all the pumpkin decorations and the little touches they add all around the parks. We always end up coming home with a few new decorations for the house when we visit during this time of year.
I could go on and on about my old favorites, but then we’d be here all day. Make sure to check back next month for a full recap on what we did during our trip!
Have you ever been to Disney World? What’s your favorite thing to do there?