I’ve been really hoping to plan a trip to Walt Disney World with my husband for a while now and we are finally in the planning stages for a trip this November for Dapper Day! Dom, Reenie, and I will be heading down to good ol’ Orlando and I couldn’t be more excited about this trip!
I was getting a little down that I didn’t have enough Disney in my life recently and being all the way up here in PA / NJ every day made me long for Florida or California living. One thing that usually helps is planning a trip. We were seriously planning a trip last year where we would have been in Disney right about now but it just didn’t work out and now I’m sort of glad because it would have been a lot for us at this time. My first Disney vacation ever was in the month of November but I haven’t been back that month since. I’ve been in December, July, January, January again, October, and September. I will eventually get to go in the spring months (which is great because my birthday and the Flower and Garden Festival are in the spring), but I am grateful that I will be going in November again since, to me, this is a great time to go.
In addition, it will be Dapper Day Weekend and I just cannot wait to dress up for it! I’ve been wanting to go for like a year now and even though it was my birthday weekend this past April and I wish I could have gone then, it will be much more worth it to go in November and have plenty of time to plan and make the experience enjoyable and relaxing for myself and my husband. Dom is not the biggest Disney fan so I would like to make it a trip he will enjoy too so I will have fun finding things I think he’ll like. I also am looking forward to this being a trip about me (for purely selfish reasons). Sometimes on vacation with other people I feel like I need to follow someone else’s agenda, but for this trip I will be with Dom and Reenie who both love a lot of the same things as me and also, none of us would feel bad about separating if we need to
(at one point on my last trip with Reenie I think we realized this when I just had to go see Peter Pan and we were by ourselves for a bit and were able to do what we really wanted). I am more of a go with the flow kind of person but there are certain things that I just really want to do that I can do without having two agendas (mine and someone else’s). What I love about going with another Disney lover is that you get to do a lot of things that you want to do and you can maximize your time. What I love about going with someone who hasn’t been in awhile is that you get to see it through their eyes. What I can’t wait to do when I go in November is basically everything I want.
So the three of us have been planning (read: two of us, Reenie and I) and prepping for this trip and it is fast approaching the 180 day mark which means, ADRs. Reenie and I spent some time last Saturday looking through menus, deciding what works best, and making some serious decisions. Dom and I aren’t looking to spend exorbitant amounts of money on dining this trip and mostly want to stick to Quick Service (which I plan to start talking about next week) but Reenie and I did think it would be fun to have one meal while we are dressed for Dapper Day where we sit down at a nice restaurant and have someone serve us. We chose to do this on Sunday in Epcot because there are many restaurants there that we have not had the chance to try yet, and because we’ve done Be Our Guest on our last trip and want to do something new.
The struggle here is that Epcot has SO MANY amazing food choices and while we will probably do lunch here two-three of the four days in the parks, we want to find the best dinner to fit for our schedule and palates. We decided to try for reservations at Le Cellier – this would bring us to the end of the World Showcase (where we plan to spend the bulk of our day) and we are planning on a late reservation so that we have plenty of time to explore all the pavilions during the day.
As I quickly mentioned, we will have four days in the park PLUS an evening for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – something we have never done before and are looking forward to. The basics of the trip so far are as follows:
- Dom and I will be driving down Thursday November 16th and staying at an IHG hotel that night (to be booked soon).
- Friday morning (Nov 17) Dom and I will bring our bags over to Pop Century and check-in early so that we can enjoy Disney Springs. Our room will most likely not be ready until mid-afternoon so we will be ready for a day at Springs when we get up in the morning.
- Friday morning and afternoon will be spent eating and shopping at Disney Springs and, if there’s time, exploring Pop Century and Art of Animation.
- When our room is ready Reenie should be getting in on her Magical Express and we can all get changed for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.
- We are able to enter the park at 4pm for the party so sometime around there we will head to Magic Kingdom.
- We will most likely stay until close and since the party ends at midnight we will probably just go get some sleep so that we can rope drop in the morning.
- Saturday (Nov 18) is the first day of Dapper Day. We will get dressed in our Dapper attire and hopefully get to Magic Kingdom by rope drop. There are a handful of photo ops I hope to do and plan to mostly take it easy and really enjoy the experience as much as possible without feeling rushed.
- Saturday evening we will definitely stay for the new fireworks show and then probably try for the Monorail Bar Crawl if we’re feeling up to it.
- Sunday (Nov 19) is the second day of Dapper Day. We will dress in our Dapper attire and again head for rope drop, this time at Epcot.
- There are a number of photo ops I would like to do at Epcot, the first being the Joy and Sadness meet and greet. We also have to do Frozen Ever After as I have never been (fast pass on this is a must for me) and I plan to really spend time exploring the World Showcase, taking lots of pictures, and eating lots of food! We will start with Mexico (or Norway and backtrack to Mexico depending on our Frozen fast pass) because our ADR we are hoping to get is in Canada.
- IllumiNations is Reenie’s favorite so this is a can’t miss experience for us. After park closing, we will probably go out to the Boardwalk for the night.
- Monday (Nov 20) is our big Park Hopping day. I really want to do the Four Park Challenge (I’ll talk about that more at a later date) and I think Monday makes the best candidate because I’m aiming at a more relaxing Tuesday before the long drive home.
- We will start at Animal Kingdom, make our way to Magic Kingdom, get to Epcot for a late lunch, and then spend the rest of the evening at Hollywood Studios. This way we can try and get everything done that we want to do at Studios so that we can spend all day Tuesday in Animal Kingdom. I’d also love to do Fantasmic since it’s basically my favorite.
- If it’s not too late, this would be a good time to visit Disney Springs for some dessert and possible souvenirs.
- Tuesday (Nov 21) is our last day at the parks. My idea is that we can finish up anything we didn’t get to do at Hollywood Studios first thing in the morning and then get over to Animal Kingdom to spend the rest of the day exploring Pandora. Reenie and I decided on doing a Rivers of Light dining package at Tusker House for brunch so that we will be guaranteed a spot at Rivers of Light and we will also be able to meet some fun characters without spending a ton on a character dining experience.
- My hope is that this will be an early to bed night since we will have to get up early the next day for the drive home.
- Wednesday (Nov 22) is back homeward bound for us (on the road again).
So in the coming weeks I plan to talk about food, experiences, clothes, and anything else that comes up about our trip! Stay tuned for some planning and any advice/suggestions are always welcome! Leave me a note in the comments!