Today I’m sharing a Walt Disney World trip report that includes my participation in the runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon!
A week ago today, my husband and I returned from a Walt Disney World trip that revolved around my running the 2017 runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. The trip and race has been like the light at the end of the tunnel for this blog for months! I’m excited to finally make my way out of the tunnel and recap the first part of the trip for you guys (and the race later this week!). The run was Sunday, the 5th, but we spent a few days on Disney World property beforehand and were able to fit in plenty of fun.
In our first two days, we had a full schedule. Between travel, Epcot, the expo, and Magic Kingdom, we fit in as much as we could before I needed to slow down a bit on Saturday. Buckle in for our 2017 Disney World trip report for days one and two!
I woke up that morning with a touch of a sore throat and some head congestion. I prayed for the best and headed out the door. We had an early flight — 8 a.m. — but our airport is close and small, so we left the house at 6:45, made it through security, and still sat at our gate for 30 minutes before boarding. My husband is notorious for bad luck when flying, but this time it was smooth sailing (or flying). We landed at DFW early and had more than enough time to have lunch and make our next flight.
After landing at MCO, we made our way to Disney’s Magical Express to catch our bus. It was so convenient to check our bags in our home airport and not have to worry about them again! We practically walked right on to the bus, but then had to wait for it to fill up with a few more people. By 4 p.m. we had made our way to Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside and with online check-in were able to go straight to our room.
For past trips, I’ve stayed at POP Century, Beach Club, and Boardwalk. Having never stayed at a moderate resort, I was anxious to see how it would compare to the other two tiers. Well… My husband described it as “a little bit nicer Motel 6.” OUCH. We were in the Magnolia Terrace area and it really wasn’t anything special. The state of the room was a lot closer to to a value resort than a deluxe. It was hardly themed (which actually was fine with us), but was in need of a refurbishment. At the end of the day, the bed was comfortable and the shower was warm, so we couldn’t ask for much more.
We had dinner reservations in World Showcase, so I introduced my husband to the WDW bus system and we headed to Epcot. We got to the park at kind of an awkward time — not enough time to stand in line for attractions, but with quite a bit of time to kill before our reservation. We took the opportunity to walk through all the food and wine festival carts and make notes of where we wanted to stop later. The chocolate cart was at the top of my list. 😉
We eventually made our way to Morocco for our dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh. It’s tucked far back into the “streets of Agrabah” and the whole area is beautiful. We took complete advantage of our deluxe dining plan and ordered the most expensive thing on the menu. Hubby and I each got bastilla appetizers (so good), as well as leg of lamb and lemon chicken with rice and couscous as our entree. My husband also had a beer and I had a glass of sangria to go with dinner. We stuffed our faces on the appetizers and could hardly finish our meals, so we grabbed dessert (balaclava) to go. The entertainment experience at Restaurant Marrakesh is worth the reservation by itself. Between the belly dancers and the musicians, we loved the experience!
After dinner, we headed across the park to use our FastPass+ reservations for Soarin’. I love the way the room filled with the scent of grass and dirt as we “soared” across the African Savannah. We decided to make our way back to buses upon leaving Soarin’ to try and beat the crowd. We were so exhausted, we crashed almost as soon as our heads hit the pillows.
Friday morning, I woke up around 6 a.m. and headed out for a 3-mile run around the Port Orleans resorts. I started on our side, weaved through the Riverside buildings, and made my way over to French Quarter before heading back to our room. We had plans to go to the race expo that morning, but took our time getting ready because it didn’t open until 10 a.m. We had breakfast in the food court of our resort (Riverside Mill Food Court) and that was a bit of a mess. It was a hopping place at 8:30 in the morning and I imagine we looked much like deer in headlights upon entering. I forgot the pin number on my MagicBand and panicked, so I had to pay with a credit card, and we somehow completely missed that cups were only available through the cashier. Not wanting to use more credits than necessary, we just sucked it up and went without coffee for the morning. I was fine, my husband was cranky ( 😉 ), and the food was just average.
Related: Flashback Friday: Disney Dreaming
At 9:30, we caught the bus to ESPN Wide World of Sports and had a great expo experience! The only snafu was that I (accidentally) dumped out my swag bag on the sidewalk and realized after we got back to the hotel that I broke the cute little shoe ornament I got! Anyway, we were in and out and back on the bus in less than an hour. We dropped my things off in the room and headed to Magic Kingdom for the rest of the day.
With late lunch reservations at Be Our Guest and no fast passes until the afternoon, we decided to hop in the stand-by queue for Space Mountain. It was worth the 50 minute wait! I’m a mountaineer for sure and cannot be forced to choose my favorite mountain ride. I love them all, and Space Mountain is no exception! We spent some time walking around afterward before heading back to Fantasyland to make our reservation.
The last time I was in WDW (four years ago) Be Our Guest had just opened and it was nearly impossible to snag a table. Now that they’ve added the quick service option for lunch it was a bit easier. That said, I’d much rather do table service. We waited in line to check in, waited for a kiosk to order, had to hunt down a table, and then wait for our food. The food, however, was great. Hubby ordered the braised pork with potatoes and green beans, while I got the tuna nicoise salad. We both really enjoyed our meals and I would certainly order the salad again!
We spent the rest of the afternoon hitting as many attractions as we could. We did It’s a Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Enchanted Tiki Room. Sadly, Splash Mountain was closed, but we hit Big Thunder Mountain and I finally got to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train! We took a break to ride around on the railroad and I finally (FINALLY) got to have a Dole Whip. I understand the hype. It’s worth it.
We didn’t get to do Jungle Cruise 🙁 but we did get a reservation at their neighboring restaurant, Skipper Canteen! Our host was expectedly punny, but our server was much more low-key. The food was good and we enjoyed it very much, but our reservation was pretty late. We had almost two hours to kill after doing everything we wanted to do, so in hindsight, I wish we’d tried to snag one somewhere else and left Magic Kingdom somewhat early. As things turned out, we just about closed the park down that night.
Question: Do you have any fun stories to share from Epcot or Magic Kingdom?
I’m linking up with Crystal for Tuesday Talk!