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{travel} Labor Day Weekend at Walt Disney World

  Tuesday, October 10, 2023 at 7:30 AM   |    Post a Comment     Tagged:, 

Super delayed post, incoming! Ha ha. After our last trip in September 2022 (when our annual passes expired) we said we were going to "take a year off" Disney. Fast forward to March when Christian had to go to Orlando for work and they offered to fly me down too so we could do a day at Disney before he had to work (they know I'm obsessed.) We flew with Avelo airlines and discovered how easy it was to fly from New Haven vs Hartford so Christian "joked" that we should just take random trips to Disney on the weekend with the $50 and under flights. 

Next my friend convinced me to do the Wine & Dine 5K this November so we planned on doing that as a quick weekend trip with minimal park days. THEN when annual passes went back on sale in April Christian and I said screw it, bought them and planned a Labor Day weekend trip the same day. So technically we did take a year off official Disney trips, just not all of 2023. Finally, I have a December trip planned so Christian can see Disney decorated for the holidays! That trip is still up in the air as I may have a conflict for the days we booked (I have a backup hotel booked for a couple weekends later, but we'll see.)

TLDR; Christian and I weren't going to go to Disney this year, but then we threw that out the window and planned 3 trips from September - December, haha! Technically we did take a year off, our last official trip was September 2022. 


Back to the actual trip! We decided to brave the crowds for Labor Day so Christian could have a built in extra day for the trip. The original plan was to leave Friday evening after work but Avelo changed the flight on us and we left Friday morning. Our flights were only $178 round trip TOTAL for both of us, can't beat that! I used my new Day Owl backpack as my personal item so we didn't have any additional baggage to pay for. (I also wore workout clothes on the plane, very NOT me, but we planned on doing a run for our 5K training while at Disney so I needed to wear my sneakers on the plane to save room, ha ha)



We went on the trip with my friend Caleb and splurged on renting Disney Vacation Club points to stay at the Boardwalk Villas, Christian's favorite hotel! We love that you can walk to EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. For more on the hotel see my Boardwalk post here; they're currently undergoing renovations so the rooms will look different soon. We paid $1100 for 4 nights, a steal for this hotel, plus we split it with Caleb.


Our first day we checked into the hotel and headed straight for EPCOT for some Food & Wine Festival treats. I was also able to book us a reservation at the newest restaurant - Shiki-Sai: Sushi Izakaya in Japan. We started our afternoon with a few festival booth bites, rode our favorite ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, some more bites & rides and then got caught in a downpour while we had to walk to our reservation across the park. Needless to say we got soaking wet, but the food and ambience of the restaurant was worth it! After dinner we headed back too the hotel intending to dry off and go back to EPCOT. Then we decided to just hang in the room and once the rain stopped headed out on to the Boardwalk and enjoyed a brownie a la mode! 

Day two we "rope dropped" Hollywood Studios to ride the Star Wars ride, Rise of the Resistance, before the line got crazy. We weren't trying to be first in line but we ended up at the front of the pack in the security line and at one of the tap-in points at the front of the park. We walked politely to the ride and we were probably in the first 30 or so people in line (some people broke the rules and ran, haha.) After that we speed walked to Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway, another one that gets a crazy line later in the day. After that we stopped for breakfast at Woody's Lunch Box before going back to Galaxy's Edge to ride Millenium Falcon: Smuggler's Run. We finished all that before 10am!


Next we decided to watch the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular before taking a bus to one of the resorts and then taking a boat to Disney Springs for lunch at Polite Pig. After lunch and some walking around stores we headed to Port Orleans: French Quarter to get the special Halloween-themed Ghoulish Delight Beignets. Then it was back to Hollywood Studios to meet up with Caleb who had arrived that morning. We rode more rides, had dinner at Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater and got a super delicious strawberry hibiscus soda from Baseline Taphouse. After that we headed over to watch Fantasmic, this was my first time seeing it. FINALLY! It was really fun!

Time for day three! We started off at Animal Kingdom. First stop: Flight of Passage, the Avatar-themed ride, always a favorite! After that we grabbed one of our favorite breakfasts - a tiger tail (me) and guava and cream cheese danish at Tamu Tamu. Next we had VIP seating for The Lion King show followed by one of the best rides I've ever had on Kilimanjaro Safaris. So many animals were out to play! After the safari we walked over to ride Expedition Everest before heading to the Grand Floridian hotel for a quick lunch.


After lunch it was off to Magic Kingdom where we took in all the adorable Halloween decor, rode a ton of rids and got one of our favorite treats - the I Lava You Float! It's Fanta Strawberry Soda and Passion Fruit flavor served with DOLE Whip Orange and topped with Popping Candy. We get it at least once a trip, sometimes twice. Whoops! We grabbed a quick rest and dinner at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (chicken strips for the win!) before it was time to FINALLY ride TRON: Light/Cycle Run! The ride opened in Shanghai Disney in 2016 and this ride is a replica of that. It's very quick but oh so exhilarating! We were lucky enough to ride in the evening so we could really see the fun lighting effects. 



Once we recomposed ourselves after Tron it was time to head over to the VIP section (we really lucked out getting on the list!) to watch the Happily Ever After Fireworks! It was nice not having to fight our way for a good spot to watch, but sadly some people in the section did stand up right in front of us partially blocking the bottom of the castle, but who cares, we still had an amazing view! I also had a minor freak out because Susan Egan, the voice of Megara in Hercules - one of my favorite characters - was also in the section... AHHHH!! I didn't want to be "that person" so I just snuck some looks from afar and didn't approach her, no matter how much I wanted to!



Our last full day was one I was most excited for. We started the morning at EPCOT with breakfast at Garden Grill with Mickey, Pluto, Chip & Dale! After that we checked in for something I have been anticipating doing for years now - Behind the Seeds! This is a tour that takes you behind the scenes of the Living with the Land ride and into the greenhouses where some of the food Disney actually serves in the parks is grown! Christian and I had booked this tour for our May 2020 trip with his Mom that was cancelled due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, when we redid that trip with his Mom last year the tour wasn't back up and running yet. It's a one-hour tour of the fish farm and 4 greenhouses where a cast member will teach you about different ways to grow plants and lots of other fun tidbits!


Once the tour was over we rode Guardian's of the Galaxy again (what can we say, we're addicted.) and ate some more treats from the Food & Wine Festival. Christian and I took a mid-day break back at the hotel before heading back to EPCOT for more Food & Wine before our Extended Evening Hours began! Because we were staying at a deluxe resort we had access to two extra hours in the park and another chance to ride Guardian's of the Galaxy! Yay for riding two times in one day!


Time for the sad part - our last morning. I booked us semi-last minute reservations for breakfast at Topolino's Terrace at Riviera Resort so we could have a relaxing morning before our flight. We took the Skyliner from the Boardwalk Resort over to Riviera and then had our tasty breakfast with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy! At 9:30am it was time to head to the airport and fly home. Always depressing leaving Disney to go back o the real world. It really is a bubble once you get on property, all your worries just melt away!


Luckily our next trip isn't far away!

About Closet Fashionista

Loves to get bargains on clothes and is obsessed with Harry Potter and Disney. By day she is a freelance graphic and web designer. She also has a slight obsession with movies.

You can also find her on the web at her Harry Potter and Matthew Lewis fan sites.

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