Our Trip to the Happiest Place on Earth!

Hello everyone & welcome back for a weekend treat… I have been beyond excited to share the photos and details of our family vacation to the happiest place on earth with you all.

This trip was something that Jordan and I had dreamed about for years and planning for months. Neither Jordan, Mila, or Kannon (of course) had ever been to any of the Disney Parks + Jordan had never been to Universal Studios either, so this first trip there, together, was very special indeed.

I do want to preface this post with the fact that we learned a lot of “what not to do,” on this trip, but regardless of the obstacles we faced, we still had an amazing time and CANNOT wait to go back again in the future. We will just do things a little differently next time.

Now grab your coffee, tea, or wine (😉) and get to reading!

We embarked on our very first family vacation (just the 4 of us) & Kannon’s first flight, early on Friday morning.

It was definitely an adventure lugging 2 kids, luggage, car seats, and strollers around the airport. We also unfortunately hit a hiccup of a long flight delay due to engine issues, but we eventually made our way up into the sky to head to Orlando, FL.

I was pleasantly surprised by Kannon’s first flight experience. He slept most of the plane ride and was a happy camper while he was awake.

As soon as we landed in Orlando, we rushed over to our resort to check-in & drop off our luggage, so we could spend the little time we had left in the day at Universal Studios.

Our original plan was to arrive at the park around 1pm, but due to our flight delay, we didn’t make it there until just after 4pm and it was pouring…like monsoon pouring! The Universal Studios park closed at 5pm to prepare and re-open at 6:30pm for their Halloween Horror Nights event that is catered towards teens-adults, so we weren’t able to make our way to that part of the park, but we tried to stay as positive as possible while we enjoyed the rides that were open in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

We were able to ride quite a few 3D rides, with King Kong being our favorite and we spent most of our night hanging out in Hogsmeade for dinner, shows, candy shopping in Honeyduke’s, and more rides. We were all very excited to ride Hagrid’s Magical Creature’s Motorbike Adventure, which ended up being our absolute favorite roller coaster throughout the entire weekend! It was so neat being able to walk/ride through Hagrid’s area + the ride was super fast & had some very fun surprises. I highly recommend riding it at night!

One super cool thing that we learned and utilized at Universal is their child-swap system. Universal’s parks do not have many rides that little one’s (such as Kannon) can ride on, but they have a waiting room at each ride for one parent to stay with their little one’s while the other parent and older children go on the ride. As soon as the parent that went on the ride first is finished, they can swap places with the other parent who is then placed at the front of the line for their turn + they can take the older kids with them for their second time. It is a really cool and convenient system that made it possible for Jordan and I to be able to go on each ride without us both having to wait in line forever.

It felt amazing to get into bed after a long day of traveling, getting rained on, and walking/riding all evening. We stayed at the Marriott Cypress Harbour Villa’s, which was a great resort filled with tons of fun amenities. The best part of our resort was the space we had in our 2 bedroom villa, which gave us plenty of room to relax (when we could 🤪).

We began Saturday at our first Disney World park, Animal Kingdom. We had the best time watching the acrobat show, riding through the Kilimanjaro Safaris, and exploring the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Africa. We walked through Asia while heading to DinoLand U.S.A. to ride the TriceraTop Spin & the DINOSAUR rides. Lastly, we made our way to our favorite part of the park, Pandora-The World of Avatar, where we admired the incredible architecture and took turns riding the Avatar Flight of Passage, which was hands down, the coolest 3D ride we went on all weekend.

We hopped on the Disney Monorail to make our way to Disney’s Magic Kingdom. Kannon was obsessed with his light-up Avatar sword that Jordan bought for him in Pandora.

Magic Kingdom is Disney. I love all of the Disney parks and funnily enough, Magic Kingdom isn’t my favorite one out of the 4, but there truly is something so magical about it. Cinderella’s castle gets me every single time. It was very cool being able to see Magic Kingdom decorated for Fall/Halloween for the first time. I absolutely loved seeing pumpkins everywhere! This year is also Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary so there were special decorations and events going on for that as well, which was so cool to be apart of.

While we were at Magic Kingdom, we rode Pirates of the Caribbean (one of my personal favorites), Jungle Cruise (we could have gone without riding this one), Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s A Small World (both kids crashed on this one & Kannnon stayed zonked for the remainder of the night), Space Mountain, and Seven Dwarves Mine Trail (another one of our favorites).

We ended the night on Main Street with some delicious ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor.

Hollywood freaking Studios was way better than ever because they now have Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. We could have spent our entire day at Galaxy’s Edge and boy do we wish we could have, but we are very grateful for the little amount of time we were able to spend there.

We were overjoyed walking through the different towns & shops at Galaxy’s Edge and being able to experience some very cool rides throughout the park.

While we were at Hollywood Studios we rode the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run (super fun & interactive ride), Star Tours: The Adventures Continue, Rock n’ Roller Coaster, and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (a classic). We also had the privilege of meeting Darth Vader, Doc McStuffins, and Pluto before ending our time at the park.

Our last & final stop of the weekend was at Disney’s Epcot (my personal favorite Disney park).

We didn’t get nearly enough time at Epcot, but we enjoyed every minute of it! We started off with a Meet & Greet with Mickey and Goofy that was so worth it. The characters were so kind and interactive. Mickey loved that we were all in Star Wars gear and wanted to snap a photo of us using the force, that Kannon surprisingly joined in on as well!

We had dinner reservations at the Rose & Crown Pub in the England portion of Epcot. Jordan was served a massive platter of fish & chips, Mila devoured grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, and trifle + Kannon and I split the vegan “fish” & chips that was absolutely delicious!

We ran over to France to hop on the Ratatouille ride before the park closed. All 4 of us were able to enjoy the new 3D ride and we had so much fun. Definitely recommend taking the kiddos on this one!

Epcot provided an incredible firework show for guests to enjoy as the park closed. Watching this show with the kids was probably the most magical moment of the entire weekend. It was bittersweet knowing that our short amount of time there was already coming to an end, but the night ended with joy that we were able to experience this together.

And just like that, our weekend came to a close… While our trip was way too short, we made memories together that will truly last forever.

We learned so much while on our trip and I would love to provide a few recommendations for those looking to go in the future.


•Go for at least 5 full days. 7-10 days would be the best to give yourself some rest time, but if you want to visit all of the park I would highly recommend being there for at least 5 full days.

•Don’t plan your travel on park days. You never know what can happen with flight delays, cancellations, or traffic, so make your life easier by having your travel days separate.

•Spend the extra money to stay on site. Trust me it’s SO worth it! This gives you the opportunity to travel to & from parks with so much ease, enter certain parks earlier than those staying off-site, and the resorts are all so fun!

•Research & learn how to use the lighting lane/Genie+ system. They are great to use to reduce wait times, but definitely require knowledge on how to use them and planning to make reservations for the rides you really want to go on.

•Plan ahead! Make all of the reservations. I planned our trip wanting our days to feel flexible, but I so wish we had our days more structured so we could’ve have enjoyed more in the short amount of time we had. This will also take a lot of the headache out of figuring out what you want to do/see the day of.

•Make sure to book reservations for activities you want to participate in as well even if the websites say “walk-ins welcome” (spoiler alert: they’re not!). We really wanted to build custom lightsabers, but misssd out on the opportunity because you needed to book reservations 30-60 days out.

•Ask for advice from employees working the parks or people you know that have been there in the last year. Lots of changes have been made since the pandemic, so learning from those who know how the new systems work is SUPER helpful.

I hope that this post brought you joy and these recommendations might help you on your own trip to Disney/Universal. I would be more than happy to help if you have any additional questions!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s