I have been lucky enough to visit Disney World twice since the 50th Celebration festivities began. I want to share my most recent experience with you! Where I stayed, what I did, and some recommendations.
Where I Stayed: Port Orleans Riverside
I loved everything about this resort! It was beautiful and had great dining options on-site, multiple pools, bike rentals, horse-drawn carriage rides, and boat transportation to Disney Springs. This was a wonderful Disney Resort and I would highly recommend it. Port Orleans French Quarter, right next door, is also an amazing option. With perpetual Mardi Gras decor and beignets at Scat Cat, I would actually love to stay at this resort next time. It has a smaller and more intimate feel that I really liked.
Which Parks I Visited: All Of Them!
There is always a need to visit this classic and magical park. There’s something so special about walking down Main Street USA and seeing Cinderella’s Castle that makes you feel like a kid again. We experienced the new “Disney Enchantment” firework show for the first time, took in as many rides as possible, and dined at a restaurant that was new to both of us, The Plaza. One attraction that’s on my list for next time is Tom Sawyer Island!
EPCOT has special festivals throughout the year and I always enjoy being there for the Festival of the Arts. This festival includes unique food & drink stands spread throughout the World Showcase, broadway performances, and artists on-site sharing and selling their artwork. It’s one of my favorite times to be at EPCOT. The new Harmonious Fireworks were spectacular (my new favorite nighttime spectacular!), and the Ratatouille ride was such the perfect addition to the France Pavillion. We didn’t eat at any restaurants in EPCOT but spent the day eating and drinking our way around the World Showcase. Highly recommend!
If you’re looking for a peaceful Disney day, I would recommend DAK. You can enjoy the new Disney KiteTails show, Kilimanjaro Safari, and of course Pandora. Wait times weren’t bad and this might have been my favorite day spent in the parks! Lunch in Pandora at Satu’li Canteen (my personal favorite Disney quick service option) and drinks and snacks at the Nomad Lounge.
This park is special to me personally because it’s where I worked as a Vacation Planner during my time working for Disney. My favorite new discovery was the bar in Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. The drinks were unlike anything I’ve ever tasted and the vibes were incredible! It was the perfect place to re-energize during the day! We enjoyed quick-service lunch on Hollywood Blvd and had dinner at the Sci-Fi Dine-In, which is an amazing experience if you haven’t been!
When I Visited
This trip took place in mid-February. It was a little chilly, but overall it was perfect park weather and definitely not as busy as the holiday season when I was last at Disney. No rain, and looking at the EPCOT festival schedule is a big deciding factor for me!
During this trip, I did try some new things and I always make an effort to step out of m Disney comfort zone when I’m back! Here are a few new discoveries that I loved.
- Ice cream at Beaches & Cream
- I’ve done this years ago, but haven’t been back since they redid this cute space. This restaurant is located at the Yacht and Beach Club! I had the “No Way Jose” and it was definitely big enough to share.
- Grand Floridian Cafe for brunch. The chicken and Mickey waffle combo was SO good and the vibes are perfection. *chef’s kiss*
- The new restaurant at the Contemporary Resort, “Steakhouse 71” has mobile order available! This is a great option if you want a high dining experience but aren’t able to get a reservation.
- Nomad Lounge at DAK. I had never been here but now I will always visit! The decor is so cool and it’s just the most chill spot to sit and enjoy a drink.
- Oga’s Cantina – I can’t say enough about this bar! Discover one of the galaxy’s most infamous watering holes and enjoy unique concoctions for visitors of all ages at Oga’s Cantina. It’s energetic and hectic in the best way! It was the most immersive Galaxy’s Edge experience in my opinion.
- As far as EPCOT dining, the Italy Pavillion earned a 10/10 rating from both of us for food and drinks. That’s pretty consistent regardless of what festival season it is. Do yourself a favor and check out what’s being offered around World Showcase, but especially in Italy!
Every time I go to Disney I realize how much there still is to see and experience! If you’ve been waiting to take a trip to Disney, I have to tell you this is the year to visit. There are so many fun extras happening throughout the property right now. I will also say that Travel Advisors are especially invaluable during this time! There are a lot of things to take into consideration and if you’ve never been to Disney before, or have only been once years ago, you’ll really miss out. Please reach out with any Disney questions! We want your experience to be truly magical.