It has been more than a month since I left for Walt Disney World. And after collecting the thoughts, pictures, and more, I feel ready to give you all a bit of insight into one of the best vacations I've had in some time. It is hard to rank any Walt Disney World vacation over another, but there was just something about this one that stands shoulders above many prior adventures. Curious to see how I celebrated the release of Disney's live action Beauty and the Beast? Well, grab your rose and ball gown, this is a gonna be quite the enchanted blog post!
After a bit of a bumpy arrival (since a major snowstorm had happened the night before) Mom and I arrived to Orlando International around 5pm. We enjoyed our ride from the airport to our resort (Art of Animation) and took in all the sights and sounds. The best part about this very week we chose (other than the reason we came to Orlando in the first place) was that the weather was quite chilly for Florida - but perfect for my group! Though we love getting away from the frigid temperatures of New York City, having the ability to layer up in Orlando is a big treat! It even allowed me to wear my favorite pink faux leather jacket through most of the trip.
Our first park visit was to the Magic Kingdom, where we missed one of FastPasses to meet Cinderella and Princess Elena. After enjoying our later FastPasses that evening (including a visit to Belle and Beast's castle) we stopped over to a cast member and asked if we could use our original FastPass (even if it was 2 hrs past the end time.) Luckily, that Cast Member didn't just let us go through to the meet and greet, but actually gave us four extra passes to use throughout our trip! Clearly, luck was on our side. We didn't stay too much longer in the park though, as the evening had gotten much colder than we expected. Still our first day of vacation was an exciting one!
The next day was the big one - we were going to see Beauty and the Beast at the AMC at Disney Springs! But before that, we went to Epcot for a bit of an adventure. After meeting up with my friend Charles, we ventured off to have breakfast with Chip, Dale and all their pals at Garden Grill. The meal, as usual, was delicious, as well as the character interactions. This was also my first time getting to see the new Frozen area of World Showcase, and even though I was a bit apprehensive towards the updates to Norway, I really love the new ride and theming of the place.
Now I'm sure most of you are wondering "When the heck is she gonna get to the movie part?" .... Well, let's dive right in. We arrived at Disney Springs around 6pmish, and got a bit of a meal inside the AMC Theater's bar area called MacGuffins. If you're curious to know what a movie theater chain's idea of restaurant quality food is, I'm happy to say that AMC doesn't disappoint - offering lots of different things for all the kinds of eaters in your family, while also not breaking the bank. But who cares about the food when a movie event is on the horizon? It's showtime!
We entered into a theater about 20 minutes prior to the movie. I was so happy to see the AMC decked the place out in roses and other decor, making the evening feel extra special. Charles and me got a photo in front of the big picture area, giving a special zing to the whole experience. And of course, the movie was everything I dreamed a more (and has resulted in me seeing it 6 times, as of this post.)
The rest of the vacation Post-Movie was just as wonderful. At Hollywood Studios, we got to see my favorite show Fantasmic!, meet Moana, and enjoy some incredible meals at Sci-Fi Dine In and Afternoon Tea at the Grand Floridian, and captured memories that'll last for years to come. But that wasn't the end of the Beauty and the Beast magic for this vacation - we still had our meal at Be Our Guest to attend to! Originally we were going to do this on the Wednesday before the movie's release, but due to the weather and our flight change, we had to switch around the dates. Luckily we still were able to nab a dinner reservation for that Sunday evening, and it was certainly glorious.
I had a meaty dish, while my fellow dining guests got the Steak and Chicken. Of course, we ended our meal with the restaurant's newest version of The Grey Stuff - which obviously was delicious. I will say though that it didn't live up to the original version of the dessert nor the lunch time cupcake version. Still, you can't say no to essentially Cookies n Cream icing. We finished off our adventure with a picture with The Beast in his "new look", and he appeared as quite the dashing fellow.
So, was this the Beauty and the Beast vacation of my dreams? You sure bet it was! I don't know what other Disney memories will top this one (except when I finally get to see Tokyo Disneyland's new Beauty and the Beast themed area in a few years.) None the less, this vacation is one for the books, and I hope it helped inspired a themed vacation for you and your family in the near future.
Dalin Rowell is a Vacation Specialist with Coasters & Castles Travel. A New Yorker born and raised, Dalin has been in love with Disney and all that comes with it (Parks, Movies, etc.) since 1996. She's a frequent D23 convention goer, and probably has eaten too many Mickey Premium Bars and Corn Dogs on Main Street to name. She loves being a film nerd with a passion for helping people plan their vacation dreams!