Halloween at Disney World actually got me in a festive Halloween mood. It probably helps that September in Orlando is 90 degrees with humidity and it still feels like summer, but nevertheless, one of my least favorite holidays (because I legitimately mourn the end of summer) became something I enjoyed this past week.
Wanting to get the most out of my annual pass, Justin and I booked a fall getaway to Disney (my 3rd Disney trip of 2016 – January, February) to attend a Magic Kingdom ticketed event (Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party) and enjoy Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. September is a great time to visit Disney as it is considered a low season. Kids have gone back to school, there is a chance of thunderstorms every afternoon (bring a poncho, it ain’t no thang), and the Halloween/Food and Wine crowds are still light.
Last Saturday morning, we sacrificed sleep and got on a plane that left before sunrise. #WorthIt
We landed in Orlando a little after 8, dropped our bags off at the Grand Floridian, and left for Animal Kingdom to get a full day in the park.
Saturday was H-O-T hot. We eased our pain by walking in and out of shops throughout the day and taking in a showing of The Festival of the Lion King.
While on the subject of pain, I had been suffering from an allergic reaction from my knees to my toes (both legs) and Saturday it got so bad that I ended up in First Aid. My doctor called in a couple of prescriptions for me and they were delivered to my hotel Sunday morning. The local pharmacist was extremely helpful; he spoke to me about the claim process with my insurance company and he sent along all the necessary paperwork. Disney made this process super easy and I’m so thankful because I was actually able to enjoy the rest of my trip. #DisneyWinsAgain
I haven’t been to Animal Kingdom since they began nighttime hours so I was excited to catch a sunset Kilimanjaro Safari (amazing) and experience the Tree of Life show (SO GOOD). The crowd was oohing and aahing before the projection show officially began whenever one of the animals on the tree would move. Our bus driver back to the hotel told us that there are multiple projections so on any given night or time, you may catch a slightly different one.
When we got back to the room, we were hangry, tired, and cranky but all that disappeared when we walked into our room and saw the view from our balcony:
After I stopped freaking out over the view, we grabbed a late dinner at Grand Floridian’s 24-hour dining restaurant, Gasparilla Island Grill. I got something called the “Idaho Dog” after joking with a couple castmembers about how silly it sounded but how good it actually tasted. In case you haven’t guessed it, it’s a hotdog in a baked potato… and it was all sorts of awesome. I kid you not.
Before heading to Hollywood Studios for the day, we brunched at Grand Floridian’s Narcoossee’s. Oh boy is this food delicious. Also, the mimosas are incredible and I dubbed them “the greatest mimosas I have ever had in my life.” Must be those Florida oranges, eh?
With full bellies and light wallets (magic bands?), we got on a bus to Hollywood Studios with just enough time to get to our first FastPass of the day: Toy Story Midway Mania. With the new tracks on the ride, the standby time is significantly reduced. Good to know for future Hollywood Studios adventuring!
It felt like our time at Hollywood Studios flew by and before we knew it, we were exiting with thousands of others as they closed the park for the night.
Sunday night was a Halloween Party so we parked ourselves on our balcony to watch the Hallowishes fireworks.
Watching the finale from this spot was incredible and it got me even more excited for our very own Halloween Party on Tuesday.
Spoiler alert: I was still not prepared for the finale in front of the castle.
NEXT UP: Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival and a morning in the Magic Kingdom.