Complete Guide to Our Honeymoon
Travel Plans at Walt Disney World
I couldn’t wait to marry Scott and I was so excited about so many things to come in our marriage, but one thing I was most looking forward to right away in our marriage was our Disney-moon!! :) I was SUPER excited for our honeymoon in February (which would be 6 months post-wedding) when we’d be traveling to Disney World and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando!!! Throughout our 14-month engagement, I solely focused on planning the wedding and then began planning our honeymoon in the 6 months afterwards. I’m not sure I could have done both at the same time, to be honest, because planning a Disney and Universal Studios vacation is no joke! I had never been to either park before so I learned a LOT along the way!
Our honeymoon would be 9 days long, 2 of which were travel days, with 3 full days at Walt Disney World, 3 full days at Universal Studios, and 1 flex day in the middle where we planned to pool side and relaxing. Since this blog post would be HUGE if I tried to recap the entire trip, I figured I’d break it up into two parts; Walt Disney World and then Universal Studios. I’ve enjoyed sharing a glimpse into our wedding planning journey, and I also just love documenting our travels! I’m also sharing with you an outline of our itinerary, full of fun activities, funny moments, and menus, so if you’re ever headed to the sunshine state for a 3-Day Getaway at Walt Disney World, consider me your guide! . . .
I hope you enjoy some of my favorite moments from our trip and I will list all the vital details in a condensed overview at the very end! (Scroll down to just read the overview.)
Planning For Our Trip
Planning Stage for Disney: Since this was my first ever trip to Disney World, I quickly realized that planning a trip to Disney was more complicated than simply showing up and riding rides and meeting Mickey Mouse. There is a lot more preparation work involved in planning a Disney vacation, but I think once you know the basics of how everything works, it’s not too stressful!
Disney Parks We Planned to Visit -
Day 1 - Magic Kingdom
Day 2 - Hollywood Studios
Day 3 - Magic Kingdom
180 Days Out - Reserved Our Advance Dining Reservations for Table Service Restaurants
Cinderella’s Royal Table
Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue
60 Days Out - Chose Our FastPass Selections + Reserved Disney’s Magical Express
Day 1, Magic Kingdom
Pirates of the Caribbean
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Day 2, Hollywood Studios
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular Show
Tower of Terror
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster
Day 3, Magic Kingdom
Under the Sea, Journey of the Little Mermaid
30 Days Out - Our Magic Bands were Shipped
1 Week Out - Disney’s Magical Express Confirmation Letter + Luggage Tags Arrive and Begin Hotel Check-In
Where We Stayed
Where We Stayed While at Disney: We decided to stay on Disney property for our trip because there are so many perks!
Advance FastPass Selection (60 days out vs. 30 days)
Magic Bands delivered to us prior to arrival
Complimentary airport shuttle via Disney’s Magical Express
Magic Band acts as our hotel room key
Magic Band acts as our wallet so we can charge all on property purchases back to our room and didn’t need to carry cash or cards with us.
Anything we purchased in the park could be sent back to our resort (for free!) and we didn’t have to carry it around all day. This was SUCH a cool perk and helped immensely as we purchased souvenirs and gifts for family in the parks. Within 24 hours of purchase we’d just go pick up the items in the hotel lobby, and if we discovered we couldn’t fit everything in our suitcase (guilty!) Disney would ship all the items home for us for a minimal fee but with full coverage insurance if the item was damaged in the mail.
Easy access to complimentary Disney Transportation (no need to rent a car at all!)
Option to participate in Extra Magic Hours.
After our check-out on the last day, the concierge stored our bags complimentarily in a private room off the hotel lobby while we enjoyed the pool for the remainder of the day.
Our Disney Resort: Port Orleans Resort: Riverside. We chose POR because we wanted a room with a King size bed and knew we wanted to stay at a Moderate Resort (more $$ than a Value, but less than a Deluxe $$$). Plus, I love the Princess and the Frog which has a heavy influence on this resort! We ended up staying in the section called the Alligator Bayou and were surround by lush vegetation and waterways.
Arrival & Disney’s Magical Express
Flying to Orlando on Wednesday, February 20th: Could we BE any more excited for our honeymoon?!
Our original 6 PM flight from Detroit to Newark to Orlando was cancelled due to the icy, winter weather and we had to scramble to get on one of the last flights out of Detroit that afternoon at 3 PM! We were delayed on the runway out of Detroit to Dallas thanks to all the ice and we looked like the McCallister family running through the airport to catch our connecting flight in Dallas, but missed it by 30 minutes!
Thankfully, there was another flight leaving Dallas to Orlando just 2 hours later and we were on it! We prayed our luggage would meet us there since it hopped on the earlier flight and I had managed to fit all 9 days worth of clothing for the two of us (20 outfits total), all hair & beauty essentials (including my hair dryer), and 4 pairs of shoes for our trip to Florida in our new Away luggage! I felt like I deserved the Marie Kondo award of packing. . . And a cocktail after all this!
Arriving in Orlando: Our bag did end up arriving safely to Orlando and after picking it up we headed to the Magical Express pick-up area. We ended up having to contact Guest Services, first, when our original flight’s arrival time changed and then, again, when we got delayed in Dallas to update the driver with our flight information. It went very smoothly, though, and we didn’t have any issues boarding the bus at 12 AM to Port Orleans Riverside.
We didn’t end up using our luggage tags because we arrived after 10 PM and luggage is only collected for you up until 10 PM. We probably wouldn’t have used them even if we had arrived before the cut-off since it can take up to 3 hours + to receive your luggage at your resort. We also received an email from Disney informing us that our room was ready and we could bypass a lobby check-in and go straight to our room if we wanted to! By the time our heads hit the pillows I think it was close to 2 AM.
Day 1: Exploring Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table on Thursday, February 21st: We had an ADR at Cinderella’s Royal Table for our first day at Walt Disney World, which meant we didn’t get a ton of sleep the first night. We were up and heading to the bus pick-up area at our resort by 7:30 AM and hit the ground running.
8 AM - Early Entrance to the Magic Kingdom, Took Photos Outside the Castle
8:10 AM - Checked In at Cinderella’s Royal Table, Met Cinderella, and Were Seated by the Windows (we could see Belle and Beast’s castle in the distance!)
We loved the food here! The Cast Members seated us and brought us a plate full of fresh pastries that were so yummy and for the entirety of the meal we were referred to as Your Majesty and Your Highness. For the main course, Scott ordered scrambled eggs with potatoes and breakfast meats, and I had Carmel apple stuffed French Toast and bacon. This was a very high bar to set for the rest of the meals for our trip and (no surprise) it ended up being our favorite table service meal by far! We also got to meet some other princesses throughout breakfast including, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, and Jasmine. It was such a magical atmosphere, the princesses were all very talkative and engaging, and the food was delicious! 10/10
Morning FastPasses + Gaston’s Tavern
Exploration & Lunch at Gaston’s Tavern: After breakfast, we captured a few more photos around the castle before the crowds really started to arrive and then we headed in the direction of our first FastPass over in Adventureland.
9:00 AM - Park is now officially open. We had some time to kill in advance to our first scheduled FastPass so we got in line for the Jungle Cruise which was already at 40 minutes.
10:10 AM - We walked around the shop outside Pirates of the Caribbean and took some photos because it’s one of Scott’s favorite movies!
10:30 AM - Our 1st FastPass, Pirates of the Caribbean (We enjoyed it, but wouldn’t do this as a FastPass again because it was a little anti-climactic for us.)
11:40 AM - Our 2nd FastPass, Haunted Mansion (It’s safe to say, I am OBSESSED!! Our favorite “slow” ride!!)
12:15 PM - As we walked in the direction of Fantasyland, it started to pour so we quickly pulled out our rain ponchos and kept walking towards Gaston’s Tavern for lunch. We spent an enjoyable light lunch people watching as the rain storm passed through and tried out the famous LeFou’s Brew which was pretty tasty! 8/10
Festival of Fantasy Parade + Afternoon Rides
1:30 PM - After some more wandering we headed back towards the Castle/Main Street in order to find a good place to watch the Festival of Fantasy Parade at 2:30 PM.
3:15 PM - Walked to Frontierland and got in line for Big Thunder Mountain which was at a 40-minute wait time. This was another fast ride favorite!
4:15 PM - Our 3rd FastPass, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (We thought it was fun, but were surprised how short this ride is - like maybe 45 seconds total - given how long the general line time was (90 minutes) when we got in the FastPass line.)
5:30 PM - Walked to Tomorrowland and got in line for Space Mountain which was at an hour wait time. This was our top favorite fast ride and I was able to update our FastPasses for Day 3 so we could have it as a FastPass instead next time!
Dinner + Happily Ever After Fireworks Show
Dinner at Columbia Harbour House & Watching the Fireworks: By this time we were starting to slow down and just explore some of the little shops and the themeing in the different lands - such as Rapunzel’s tower and Dumbo’s circus tent.
6:00 PM - We had a quick service dinner at Columbia Harbour House. We really enjoyed the food here and had it not been for Woody’s Lunch Box on Day 2 it would have been our favorite quick service meal. We ate in the dining area upstairs which felt really cozy and quite compared to all the hustle and bustle downstairs and outside. 10/10
7:00 PM - We headed back to the Castle in order to find good seats/standing area to watch the Happily Ever After Fireworks Show at 8:00 PM. We were really close and had a really amazing unobstructed view of the entire show!
8:30 PM - We tried not to feel too claustrophobic as we were amongst the crowds of people heading towards the exit. We hopped on our bus back to Port Orleans Riverside and were home, showered, and snoozing by 10:30 PM.
A Little Surprise
Unexpected Disney Magic: We had a small surprise waiting for us when we returned home from the Magic Kingdom and it was a special delivery from our good friends Keli and Derek!! We love these two so much and they helped us out a ton when we were planning our trip because Keli and Derek go to Disney World about two times a year so they’re pretty much experts! They surprised us with some sparkling wine, Carmel popcorn, chocolate covered rice crispy treats, and a Micky themed cooler bag.
Day 2: Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Breakfast at ‘Ohana on Friday, February 22nd: We had an ADR at ‘Ohana for our second day at Walt Disney World, which meant we were up and at it, again, pretty early. We had to travel from our resort to the Polynesian Village Resort so we had to catch a bus to the Magic Kingdom at 7:45 AM and then ride a transfer bus to the Poly and arrived for check-in by 8:45 AM.
9:00 AM - Took Photos of the Resort and Outside ‘Ohana restaurant with Aloha Pluto (He was my favorite costumed character because he was very animated!)
9:15 AM - We were seated for breakfast and were brought some traditional Hawaiian-style bread (read: pineapples - yuck!) which Scott enjoyed. This meal was family style and they brought us a plate of fresh fruit along with a large platter of Mickey waffles (some were Stitch themed), breakfast meats, biscuits, scrambled eggs, potatoes, and pineapple ham. Overall, we loved the view of the lake and could see Cinderella’s Castle in the distance (where we ate breakfast yesterday!), but the food was only just ok for us. We had read a lot of hype about how good ‘Ohana was and we were a bit disappointed (and not speaking about my pineapple aversions here). We also got to meet Aloha Mickey, Lilo, and Stitch which was really fun! We might come back to try dinner here, but probably wouldn’t return for breakfast, except to see my man Pluto! 6/10
FastPasses and Exploring Hollywood Studios
Epic Stunts & Galaxies Far Far Away: After breakfast, we took a bus to Hollywood Studios at 10:30 AM and arrived with enough time to enter and explore the backlot themeing a bit in advance to our first FastPass.
11:30 AM - Park opened at 9 AM, but crowds weren’t bad at all as we got in line for our 1st FastPass, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. We really enjoyed this interactive show and loved seeing all the practical effects and stunts from the Indiana Jones movie saga!
1:05 PM - Our 2nd FastPass, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. I thought this ride was a lot of fun, but the multiple drops was a bit much for Scott.
2:00 PM - Even though Galaxy’s Edge wasn’t open while were were there, the Star Wars Launch Bay gave us an opportunity to experience a small part of what Galaxy’s Edge will have to offer later this year! We got a fun photo with Chewbacca and spent a lot of time looking through all the things in the gift shop.
3:45 PM - Our 3rd Fast Pass, Rock n’ Roller Coaster. This was another one of our favorite fast rides!
Toy Story Land + Fantasmic!
Dinner at Woody’s Lunch Box and Fireworks: After our time with Aerosmith and acting like rock stars, we explored a lot of the little details and themeing throughout Hollywood Studios. There is so much to look at! Since we had used up all 3 of our FastPasses by this point, we headed to a kiosk to pick a bonus 4th FastPass. When I originally chose our FastPasses 60 days out, I logged in right at 7 AM and to see if I could get FastPasses for either Slinky Dog Dash or Toy Story Mania but all the time slots were already taken! It was still the case as we looked for a bonus FastPass so we decided to book our FastPass for the night time water and fireworks show, Fantasmic!
4:30 PM - We walked into Toy Story Land and took some photos, but ultimately decided we didn’t want to stand in the general line for 3 hours to ride either of the rides. Next time!
5:30 PM - We had a quick service meal at Woody’s Lunch Box and oh.my.gosh if you’ve never eaten here you need to! It was by far the best quick service food and the seating area is themed really well. We shared an order of the BBQ brisket, the loaded tater tots (which they call “Totchos”), and a raspberry pop tart for desert. It was so yummy and we almost got another order of the Totchos, but decided to get a snack at Fantasmic! instead.
6:30 PM - Our Bonus 4th FastPass, Fantasmic!. We arrived an hour and a half early thanks to the advice of our friends Keli and Derek and we ended up getting our first honeymoon perk! As we entered via the FastPass line the Cast Member gave us a blue ticket and we were directed to a different section than everyone else. At first we were apprehensive as we didn’t want to pay extra or anything to have priority seating, but the Cast Member near the seating section reassured us that they give out complimentary blue tickets some times at random and we were just lucky to get middle/front seats to the show for free (while everyone else around us had paid for a “desert and show package”!).
7:00 PM - Fantasmic! was such a well done show and I loved seeing some other Disney characters such as Pocahontas and John Smith, the Evil Queen from Snow White, Jafar, Ariel and Eric together, Belle and Beast, Tiana and Naveen, Chernabog from Fantasia and more!
8:30 PM - End of the Night bus ride back to Port Orleans Riverside.
Day 3: Six Month Anniversary Photos
at Magic Kingdom
Breakfast at Riverside Mill + Morning Photoshoot on Friday, February 23rd: We made it to our 6th month wedding anniversary!! We woke up early, but didn’t have quite the same hustle this morning as we had a quick service breakfast at our resorts food court, Riverside Mill before we headed back to the Magic Kingdom.
7:30 AM - Breakfast at Riverside Mill at Port Orleans Riverside. Food was good and to be expected for a cafeteria style menu.
8:30 AM - Took the bus to Magic Kingdom and walked towards Cinderella’s Castle since that’s where we to meet up with my friend, Jennifer, who lives and works in Orlando as a portrait and wedding photographer!
9:15 AM - While we chatted with Jen, she graciously snapped some portraits of us! We loved having the Memory Maker, but having a real photographer taking your portrait is a bit different and was the perfect way to start our day of celebration.
Character Visits, FastPasses, + Disney Springs
10:40 AM - Our 1st FastPass, Haunted Mansion. I’m still so in love with this ride!
11:45 AM - Our 2nd FastPass, Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid.
12:15 PM - Visit with Princess Tiana from the Princess and the Frog. (We chatted about staying at Port Orleans as well as how I also started my own business like her.)
1:15 PM - Our 3rd FastPass, Space Mountain. I got the front seat on our first ride on Day 1, but Scott got to sit in the front this time!
2:00 PM - Visit with Princess Merida from Brave! (We chatted with her about our Scottish heritage/wedding and my curly hair. She reminded Scott that he better take good care of me, his Princess.)
Musical Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness
2:30 PM - We left the Magic Kingdom via the Monorail and rode it to the Polynesian Village Resort where we transferred to a bus headed to Disney Springs.
3:15 PM - We arrived at Disney Springs and explored the World of Disney store for some gifts for family before heading over to the Christmas store. Scott and I have had a tradition the last few years of getting an ornament for our Christmas tree when we go on trips to different places instead of getting a bunch of stuff. We figure this way every year when we put all the ornaments on our tree we can look back on all the adventures we’ve had together.
5:00 PM - We caught a bus headed to Fort Wilderness just in the nick of time! We had to transfer to another bus within Fort Wilderness in order to get to our ADR at Pioneer Hall. We checked-in for the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and got a few photos before we were seated.
6:15 PM - We were seated in the very front row and were so close to all the action on stage! The dinner show was a fun sort of campy and all the characters had a cute, tongue-and-cheek sense of humor. The food here was very delicious and it consisted of bottomless beer or sangria, Caesar salad, fried chicken, BBQ ribs, corn, baked beans (Scott could have allll those), and we had Angel Food cake with whipped cream and strawberries for desert.
In order to keep the dinner show moving, everything was brought out in courses, but I felt a tad rushed in eating each course before the Cast Members came back to clear our plates and the next phase of the show would start. There were a lot of interactive moments with the audience including the end where we all strummed clean spoons on our wash boards in tune with the piano man and boot stomping cowgirls. 8/10
8:30 PM - Took a bus back to our resort, Port Orleans Riverside.
Sunday: Pool Day + Farewell to Disney
Check-Out and Poolside Relaxation on Saturday, February 24th: We made sure to pack up the majority of our belongings the night before to allow us a bit more time to sleep in before we checked-out of our room at 11 AM. As we got dressed, we also wore our swim suits under our casual clothes so we could head straight to the pool after breakfast.
11:15 AM - Asked the front desk to store our luggage for the afternoon.
11:30 AM - Breakfast at the Riverside Mill Food Court at our resort before walking to the pool deck.
12:30 PM - Found basically the last two lounge chairs by the pool and then continually transitioned between swimming in the pool, reading, and relaxing in the sunshine.
Leaving Walt Disney World
. . . But the Honeymoon Isn’t Over!
3:30 PM - Changed out of our suits at the pool area bathroom / changing rooms and went to collect our luggage from the front desk.
3:45 PM - Left Disney via Uber to begin our adventures at Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Coming Soon on the Blog: We head into the second half of our honeymoon at Universal Studios’ Wizarding World of Harry Potter!
Overview of All the Cool Stuff & Places Mentioned:
Disney Resort Hotel -
Port Orleans Resort: Riverside (Level: Moderate)
Advance Dining Reservations for Table Service Dining -
Day 1, Breakfast: Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the Castle (Character Meal at Magic Kingdom)
Day 2, Breakfast: ‘Ohana (Character Meal at Polynesian Village Resort)
Day 3, Dinner: Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue (Fort Wilderness Resort)
Quick Service Dining -
Day 1, Lunch: Gaston’s Tavern (Magic Kingdom)
Day 1, Dinner: Columbia Harbour House (Magic Kingdom)
Day 2, Lunch: None
Day 2, Dinner: Woody’s Lunch Box (Hollywood Studios)
Day 3, Breakfast: Riverside Mill Food Court (at our hotel, Port Orleans Resort: Riverside)
Day 3, Lunch: None
Day 4, Breakfast: Riverside Mill Food Court (at our hotel, Port Orleans Resort: Riverside)
2.) Haunted Mansion (favorite “slow” ride!!)
3.) Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (was fun, but wouldn’t do this as a FastPass again since it’s such a short ride)
Day 2, Hollywood Studios: All Great Choices
**Bonus 4th FastPass - Fantasmic!
Day 3, Magic Kingdom: Returned to Favorites
1.) Haunted Mansion (favorite “slow” ride!)
2.) Space Mountain (favorite fast ride!)
Our Outfit Details -
Day 1, Matching “Hakuna Matata” Lion King T-Shirts (Meijer)
Day 2, Coordinating “I Love You” and “I Know” Star Wars T-Shirts (Hottopic)
My Maleficent Backpack by Loungefly (Amazon)
The Large Blush Rolling Suitcase (Away)
Matching “The One Where They Go to Disney” T-Shirts (Etsy)
Additional Planning Resources & Websites -
Disney World (main website for Disney World planning)
Undercover Tourist (discounted tickets and amazing crowd calendar!)
MouseSavers (discount alerts and Disney-related topics)
Disney Food Blog (allllll the helpful tips on every single food related topic!)
Our Disney Honeymoon Photo Session by Jennifer Pierce Photography
I found it really helpful and easier to watch a lot of content about Disney World vs. just reading reviews and/or articles so here are some of the YouTube Channels I followed while planning!:
Our Top Favorites from This Trip:
Favorite “Slow” Ride - Haunted Mansion (Magic Kingdom)
Favorite Fast Ride - Space Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
Favorite Table Service Restaurant - Cinderella’s Royal Table (Magic Kingdom)
Favorite Quick Service Restaurant - Woody’s Lunch Box (Hollywood Studios)
Favorite Character Visit - Aloha Pluto (at O’Hana Character Breakfast)
Favorite Night Show - Fantasmic! (Hollywood Studios)
Our Top Must-Do’s Next Time:
Visit the other two Disney Parks; Animal Kingdom and Epcot
Experience some Tiki goodness at Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at the Polynesian Village Resort
Eat some Disney snacks that we didn’t have room for this time around (hello, Mickey Bar and churros!)
Explore Galaxy’s Edge (once it’s open!)
Try, again, to snag a FastPass for Slinky Dog Dash (Hollywood Studios)
Get a Tangled inspired, end-of-the-night lantern photo with a Disney photographer (Magic Kingdom)
Visit during the holidays to see all the fun stuff they do at Halloween and/or Christmas time
Wanna Catch Up on Our Wedding Planning Journey?!
I’ve got all the details right here!
Last Segment Coming Soon! . . . Part 5: Our Honeymoon at Universal Studios & Wizarding World of Harry Potter (2/2)
Join the Conversation!
Did you enjoy something about this post?! Did something about our story speak to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts and read your comments below! I want to thank you all so much for participating in my community and joining in on the online conversation. If you would like to share what you've read, please use the share button below!