By the end of my trip, J was begging me to take him with me next time. 😉
#AdultsAtDisney was designed to introduce the world to all of the RIDICULOUSLY FUN things at Walt Disney World for – you guessed it! – adults! The last (and only other) time I was ever at Walt Disney World, I was 15. So I definitely had no clue what to really expect nearly a decade later! I packed up all of my red/white/black, and every polka dotted piece in my closet, as well as my girl Taylor and her mama and we were on our way!
Pearl jean jacket (as seen in this blog post – I got stopped for compliments on it! It’s SO GOOD to transition to springtime!) // Polka dot pants (SO soft + comfy + only $15!! Runs TTS) // Criss-cross tee (Comes in a buncha colors + is only $10!! A GREAT staple piece. Super soft material & Runs TTS!) // Red sneakers // Red liquid lipstick (shade: “Bawse”)
We arrived in Orlando HYPED. I was hyped namely because I was *finally* reunited with Tay! Since she lives in St. Louis and I’m in the City of Brotherly Love, we’re living that long distance life. But even with daily FaceTiming, nothing beats that actual face-to-face time. We headed over to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, freshened up, and met the rest of the group for a fun lil’ welcome reception with the team. The Grand Floridian is BEAUTIFUL. Wow. I’ve been told that on many Disney family vacays, folks do 5-days; 4 days in each of the respective parks with 1 day smackdab in the middle as a “resort day” to R&R. (Thanks Mama Smith for that!). So this resort is DEF somewhere you’d wanna just hang out! Everything is beautiful but still family-friendly, the restaurants are great, they have character dining, the pool area is gorgeous, there’s an amazing hot tub, and the rooms are just so comfortable + pretty!
Night One began with dinner at Enzo’s Hideaway – a new Italian joint at Disney Springs. I could’ve stopped after course numero uno, which was the most *incredible* charcuterie board of fresh salamis and cheeses (the parmigiano-reggiano was out. of. this. world). I was just dipping bits of the fresh bread with a bite of meat + a bite of cheese into the olive oil and holy sweet Lord baby Jesus was it the most satisfying thing.
After dinner, we had the total *privilege* of experiencing Star Wars THE VOID (also at the Springs). OH MY GOSH YOU GUYS. I want to be able to adequately explain this to y’all without giving away all the good stuff, so bear with me… 😉 I was under the impression that this “experience” was like your typical VR experience – put on some goggles, watch what happens, oooh, ahhhh, done.
…Not the case.
First you suit up in a full VR-ready vest and headset before being lead to the first chamber, which is where you learn how everything works and discover that you’re actually a rebel fighter disguised as a Storm Trooper to help save the rebellion. And when I say “disguised” as a Storm Trooper, you BECOME one. You look in a mirror, you lift up your hand – you ARE one and can’t see your own human self through your goggles. It’s INSANE, yo. Insane!!! Throughout the experience you’re walking + moving around (the workers weren’t allowed to tell us anything about the actual space we were in for the experience). The most amazing thing is that it’s considered “hyper reality” – it combines a virtual reality experience with real-life elements. So, for example, you’re walking through a hallway that LOOKS like the inside of a ship through your goggles, but then you reach a section to grab a blaster – and they’re real. You feel zaps on your vest if/when you get shot by an actual Storm Trooper in the game. You even face one of the Death Star’s most iconic villains, which is actually terrifying AF. I’d fly down to Florida again just for this, to bring my entire family along. It’s “Disney World for adults” at its finest.
We ended the night at The Edison – an “Industrial Gothic” themed entertainment venue straight outta the roaring 20’s. They had a live jazz band + dancing (so good), Burlesque dancers (so good), + an aerialist (so SO good). Would 100% recommend this spot for a more adult date night out – it’s super fun AND romantic.
HIGHLIGHTS: Star Wars THE VOID, Disney Springs dinner & The Edison (The Springs has SO many great restaurants + shops!)
We kicked off Day 2 by exploring the resort a bit and grabbing breakfast before Destination #1: Animal Kingdom. First up were the new Pandora attractions with the team – which were UNREAL, to say the least. Avatar’s Flight of Passage ride is hands down one of my favorite experiences of my entire life thus far, and another one that I’d fly down for exclusively. THIS RIDE THO. I can’t even call it a “ride” because it’s an experience that feels like it’s straight off the heels of the Imagineers. The whole premise is that you’re riding on the back of a Banshee as an Avatar, through Pandora, for the iconic “flight of passage” from the movie, Avatar. Seems simple enough, right?
Again, went in expecting a basic VR experience. Left with literal TEARS in my eyes because it was simply MAGICAL.
This ride is the epitome of adulting at Disney. As kids, you go thinking a girl dressed up as Cinderella is magical because you think it IS Cinderella. And when you grow up, you know (spoiler alert) that’s not the case. But this ride – this ride you leave feeling like you just experienced straight up magic. Another Disney World for adults MUST.
The detail-orientation is INSANE. I don’t wanna spoil the entire thing, but basically, you’re on what feels like a jet ski, strapped in, and the space in front of your face opens up when the ride begins to an aerial perspective of Pandora. Your seat moves, twists, + turns to truly feel like you’re riding an Ikran like in the movie, even down to a slight pulsation at your inner thigh for it’s breath. You smell the smells, you feel the mist – it’s just something unlike anything I’ve ever witness before. Because we had Fast Passes, we got off and immediately got back in line to do it again! If you go, DEF get yo’self a Fast Pass for this ride – the actual line is UNREAL. As in, no less than 3.5 hours unreal.
After that total high, we hustled over to Expedition Everest; the 3 of us had each been to Disney before and missed that one ride in particular, so we were DETERMINED that this was our time. We made it and ended up mistaking the time clock under the Fast Pass sign as the Fast Pass wait time (rookie mistake) and left to try to squeeze in one other ride before we needed to be back at homebase. So we made our way to their Safari for a tour of the Savannah! Saw lions, giraffes, hippos, OH MY.
After, we learned about our clock mistake and ALSO learned that we could go back on Sunday morning before leaving for good, so we planned on that. For lunch at Animal Kingdom, we hit up Satu’li Canteen in Pandora and the Pongu Pongu drink stand right next to that for fun Night Blossom slushy drinks with fruity bobas on top – def recommend both for very non-theme-park feeling food!
Next up, MAGIC KINDGOM! Magic Kingdom is just CLASSIC Disney. It’s got a little bit for everyone! From classic rides to classic characters to classic snacks – it’s got it all. Some insider tips: For a great photo opp, find the bridges on the sides of the castle! There are less people around, so it’s easier to get a people-free shot. Also, get the chocolate-covered Mickey ice cream! BUT, grab lotsa napkins with that. Maybe I’m the only looneytoon who figured I’d be OK…that ended with ice cream on my hands AND on the ground. Clearly I’m 6? HA.
Polka dot top (Only $18 – super light chiffon material! I kept the bottom button unbuttoned to knot it, and I rolled my sleeves up cos FLORIDA) // Jean shorts (also here!) // Red sneakers // Minnie Mouse bag (People kept asking me if this bag is Kate Spade – nope! Although I loveloveLOVE me some Kate Spade, this one’s about $250 cheaper than Kate Spade’s Disney collection. 😉 ) // Red lipstick
Our personal favorites include Space Mountain (where I just laugh hysterically because I get SO MUCH JOY outta that ride – ha!), Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion (what a throwback!), and the teacups. The new Seven Dwarfs Mine ride is also fantastic and good for kids + adults alike! Now some on-the-ride shots for your entertainment – ha! 😉
FYI, you’re able to buy a Photo Pass package for the day or for the duration of your trip, which is SUCH a handy way to get good shots throughout the park without thinking twice! Whenever you see someone in a beige vest with a camera, they can take your picture (and they’re typically around big landmarks + photo opps). All they have to do then is scan your Magic Band – a wristband that stores EVERYTHING from your Fast Passes to your photos, to your credit card for quick snack purchases – and the photos are automatically uploaded there for your own download. Same goes for after rides – just scan your band at the ride exit and it automatically appears in your account, which is then connected to the Disney Experience app on your phone. And this app is SUPER handy since it keeps tabs on everything, gives you wait times for rides, shows you the map – pretty much anything you could possible need while there is IN there.
We grabbed fries + mac n’ cheesse hot dogs at Casey’s on the corner, which is right at the edge of Main Street (SO good!).
At night, we hit up the Happily Ever Dessert Party at Tomorrowland before the Happily Ever After Fireworks, which were the most MAGICAL (obvi) fireworks I’ve ever experienced. The entire show was themed to different Disney classics with Disney music, and it was a spectacular light show ON the castle. The castle was lit up so fantastically and changed with each movie to represent the princess of that movie – so the castle was covered in vines for Tangled, looked imperial for Mulan, etc. SO COOL. They even incorporated Disney VILLAINS well. And at the very end, good ol’ Tinkerbell (an actual person) “flies” on a giant string that goes from the top of Cinderella’s Castle to somewhere else in the park over everyone’s heads, which is just the icing on the cake.
HIGHLIGHTS: Avatar’s Flight of Passage, Animal Kingdom’s Safari, Space Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, the teacups, Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride, Casey’s on the corner for Hot Dogs, the Happily Ever After Dessert Party + Fireworks show!
Day 3 began at Epcot for their Festival of the Arts. Epcot’s festival schedule is AWESOME – from food & wine, to the most flowers you’ve seen in your life in one place. We began with the big globe ride around the world, which I had never done before – but ya kinda have to do if you’re there, since you really can’t miss the big globe. 😉 Other rides included Soarin’ – an AWESOME hangliding-esque VR experience where you soar around the world – and Frozen Ever After, the new Frozen ride in Norway! Frozen Ever After is so cool because it shows how far Disney has come with animatronic characters in rides. In their older, more classic rides, it’s reaaaaaally obvious that it’s a mannequin with moving arms – ha! In this ride, it literally looks like cartoon characters come to life. IDK what the technology actually is – we were guessing maybe a blank plastic face with a projector screen behind it to create an animated face? But they look like the actual cartoon characters!!!
After Epcot, we made our way to Hollywood Studios, which was MGM when we had all last been. Classic rides there include the Tower of Terror and the Rock n’ Roller Coaster! We did the Tower of Terror twice, each with about 10 of us from the group all together. On the second go-around, I said “put your hands up!” before the first drop, and surprisingly every single person in our car – even those not with our group – did it. So our group picture is AWESOME and everyone had that much more fun, because you really get a more extreme experience that way! 😉 10/10 recommend.
We then got a sneak peek of Tory Story Land coming THIS SUMMER (!!!!) + a new 15-acre Star Wars world under construction now for launch around 2020. That was followed by Hollywood Studio’s version of a fireworks show to end the night – their Star Wars Galactic Spectaular, which puts you in the middle of a battle with lasers and blaster shots galore. It’s so detail oriented again in that the fireworks and lights are perfectly timed with actual plotlines, so get so immersed in it all!
HIGHLIGHTS: Soarin’, Frozen Ever After, Tower of Terror, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, Toy Story Land, Star Wars Galactic Spectacular
Ah, last day! SO, since one of our group members is a Disney EXPERT (Allie of Miss Allie Cakes – check her out on YouTube!), she had told us about our previous Expedition Everest error. We were HELL BENT on experiencing this before we left, so we got up early to be at the park right at 8 am opening to brave Everest. And WHAT A COASTER, YO. We were literally the first folks in line and RAN to the ride (note: not recommended), so we managed to snag the first round of cars, no Fast Pass necessary. We had the ride of our lives, got off…and there was still only a 5 minute wait (versus ~3 hours, per usual). So WE WENT AGAIN. What a morning to be alive. From there we headed straight back to Pandora for another Flight of Passage. That was the BIGGEST blessing to have Fast Passes for. We went not once, but twice more on that, too; by the time we were heading back into main Animal Kingdom, the stand by line was already a 6 hour wait. 6 HOURS. Like, what?!
59,788 steps later (a solid 24 miles), we were done for the week and headed back home.
HIGHLIGHTS: Expedition Everest, Avatar’s Flight of Passage (again)
I got quite a few Q’s on various things I was wearing while on the trip, so I linked a bunch above under a respective picture! ALSO, including errrrr’thaaaang in this widget here, so that you can just scroll through and shop anything that caught your eye. 😉
PHEW. If ya made it this far you deserve a Disney trip yourself – that was a novel. 😉 For those of ya that’ve been…
What are your own favorite things at Disney World for adults?
If you’ve been to WDW, I’d loveloveLOVE to know your own recommendations! I was SO new to the scene since I’d only been one other time ever, so it was v necessary to have others’ opinions + recommendations to know what the heck to do first! What are your own faves? And if you’ve never been, what’s your fave Disney movie, and who’s your fave Disney character???
I really can’t decide after this trip, because now I just lovelovelove ALL OF IT.
P.S. For more travel-related content, click here – it’s all there together! What sorta travel things would you wanna see? What would be the most helpful/fun for ya? Let a sistah know, wouldja?
Thank you guys SO MUCH for reading, for hanging out, for following along, for all of your messages/emails/DMs/etc. Y’all are the best. 🙂