5 Things We Learned on our Last Disney Vacation

Going on a vacation to Orlando is all about creating memories that you’re able to share with family and friends for a lifetime. Folks spend their hard-earned dollars to experience the Disney Magic up close and personal, so when I have the opportunity to share lessons learned first-hand…then it’s worth it!

I’ve been asked to share things that I learned on our last trips, but I think that I’m going to add a lot more value than just that.

5 Things We Learned on our Last Disney Vacation


As Disney Transportation finds its groove throughout the expansion and construction phases on property, it’s becoming more and more about spending money in order to save time. On paper, a 15-20 minute wait is ample time to invest in a bus, but after waiting for about 45-minutes at the Contemporary Resort to go to Disney Springs, it shifted our priorities.

What does a vacation cost (flight, hotel, food, etc) and divide that number by day and by hour…and spending $10 on an Uber will become more palatable.

Related Article – How to Save Time at Disney World and How to use UBER/LYFT at Disney


I’m a fan of the Swell Water Bottle after this last vacation, and it’s due to the double wall construction & extra interior layer design that keeps drinks cool for 24 hours! It works! I don’t know what else to say, but the fact that we didn’t have to worry about finding the next water fountain was exactly what we needed in the hot Florida weather.

We picked up the 17oz, but the 9oz version is still a good investment when you look at the fact that you’re going to want cold drinks to survive the crazy hotness!

Related Article – How To Do Disney in the Summer and Best Water Bottle for a Day at Disney World


Na'vi River Journey
Na’vi River Journey – Photo by Steps to Magic

Animal Kingdom has two-tiers for FP reservations, with Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in the same tier…but this trip was an eye-opener! You do not need a FastPass reservation for the River Journey and there is no way that the two are in the same category of excitement.

Get a Flight of Passage FastPass+ reservation and then plan to do an evening at the Animal Kingdom and Pandora- The World of Avatar. This will give you the potential (and a good chance) to just walk on to the River Journey with less than a 5-minute wait. OR you can rope drop it and then start your FP plans for 930am and you’ll be solid!

It was honestly the biggest disappointment of our trip, because I had the chance a week before to switch and stayed the course because Jill hadn’t experienced the River Journey before. We did a 1pm reservation…and then later that night went back to do an evening Rivers of Light before walking over to Pandora. We LITERALLY walked onto the River Journey at 830pm and all I could say was “awww”.

Related Article – Top 10 Things to do in Pandora World of Avatar


Victoria and Alberts
Victoria and Alberts – Photo by Steps to Magic

We’ve now eaten at Victoria & Alberts our last two vacations and the experiences are still mindblowing when I think back on what happened. I know that it’s not for everyone, and it’s 100% not a place for families…but I can’t speak highly enough for this dining opportunity.

Yes, it is a costly evening…with a 10-course meal starting at $225 without add-ons per person. If you’re planning a celebration or thinking about just having a dining experience that you’ll remember fondly – do it!

Put it on your list 180 days out and try to get the main dining room. You’ll get a confirmation call the week before where you may have the chance to upgrade to the Queen Victoria Room.


Space Mountain On Ride Photo
Space Mountain On Ride Photo – Steps to Magic

I’ve been a fan of the on-ride photo experience for Memory Maker for a long time! There are a bunch of attractions that have the timing down pat, from Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train to Tower of Terror and Expedition Everest…but then there’s ‘The Rest’ šŸ˜‰

Looking at the list of Bad Photopass On-Ride Photos: 

  • Frozen Ever After – nothing exciting about that…especially when you can compare it with another boat ride in Splash Mountain.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean – The camera is set up on the opposite side of a pirate…ergo…no one is looking at the camera.
  • Space Mountain – Unless you know where to look at what to expect…it’s a photo that you’ll never share!

I hope this helped in some way while you’re planning your vacation to Walt Disney World!

5 things we learned on our last Disney Vacation
5 things we learned on our last Disney Vacation – @StepstoMagic

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