I was on the fence about doing Disney as a twenty-something couple, because I had only been once when I was seven, so I didn’t really remember Disney in detail. Due to a wedding of dear friends down south and our vacation schedule, we decided… it’s time to check Disney off the list. And I have to say… they were right. Doing “DINKY” Disney was awesome!
There are entire blogs devoted to the Disney culture and vacation experience, and I’m no expert, so I won’t go into all that, but here are my highlights:
Parks We Explored
Tuesday: Universal Studios (Islands of Adventure side)
Wednesday/Saturday: Magic Kingdom (2x)
Friday: Hollywood Studios
Where We Stayed
We stayed at the Dolphin Hotel, because we are Starwood Rewards members and the Dolphin and Swan are part of that network. We were able to use points to get super discounted rates which made our accommodations extremely affordable! Our seasoned Disney friends informed of the benefits of staying on Disney property so that we could take advantage of “Extra Magic Hours” in the parks at night, and that was definitely worth it. Our first full day at Magic Kingdom, we ended up enjoying the park until midnight!
Top 3 Attractions
- Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom) – At the end of the day, Nick and I really are roller coaster people and we’ve never ridden anything like Space Mountain. The fact that they really make you feel like you’re flying through space is so awesome.
- Hogsmeade (Islands of Adventure) – I am a longtime Harry Potter fan, so I was pretty much geeking out once we set foot in Hogsmeade. I realize I am claiming a whole section of the park, and not a specific attraction within, but the atmosphere really does make you feel like you’ve stepped onto the movie set. Honestly I wasn’t blown away by one specific aspect, but appreciated all of the impeccably executed details that make up the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- Mission Space (Epcot) – This ride simulates what it would be like to go be launched into space and experience G-forces. It is amazing how detailed the whole ride is. Just beware for those who are prone to motion sickness! This is definitely one that made me nauseated. Worth it though!
Words of Wisdom
- Go for a week. If you want to try to do the whole of Disney World, you will definitely need a week and you’ll be exhausted by the end! If we were to do it again, we would try to go for a longer period of time and add in a rest day in the middle to relax and re-energize.
- Stay on Disney property. Staying at a Disney (affiliated) resort was worth it. It seems like they have a wide variety of price points to make it possible for everyone.
- Eat Strategically. This may be a given, but Disney food prices are expensive. (And this coming from a New Yorker!) Some of it seemed worth it, some definitely did not. We were told by friends that “eating/drinking your way through Epcot” would be one of the highlights as a twenty-something, but honestly it really wasn’t for us! We were there on a fairly busy day, and since it was Day 3, by the afternoon we were pretty tired. While the atmosphere is awesome, I found it hard to truly appreciate because I am spoiled living in NYC, where we can pretty much name an ethnic food and find somewhere that serves it authentically and amazingly. I think it might have been more fun had we been at Epcot with friends.
- HAVE A PLAN! I am the least likely person to volunteer to get up early on vacation, but I admit, for Disney, it was worth it to get to the park before it opened so we could ride the most popular rides with virtually no wait or reserve our Fast Passes to ride them later. Undercover Tourist and the Lines App were fantastic resources. We never waited more than about 40 minutes for a ride the entire trip, and we got to ride and see almost everything we wanted to!
What is your favorite way to vacation as a couple? What are your Disney must-dos?