Disney World Trips Through the Years

Parasailing above the Magic Kingdom
Parasailing next to the Magic Kingdom in 2012

My wife Rebecca and I have visited Disney World several times through the years, both while we were dating and after we got married. It has been an integral part of our relationship and a great way to relax and have fun. We often reminisce about our trips and always look forward to planning the next adventure. When you don’t live near Orlando or don’t get to visit Disney often, there is a certain magic to visiting. Writing this, it is interesting to see how we have changed through the years too. In anticipation of our first trip with our son later this month, here is a trip down memory lane from previous visits.

First Visit – April 2008

Our first visit as a couple was a quick trip in 2008. We took advantage of a Florida resident three day pass park hopper offer and stayed two nights at the Caribbean Beach Resort. Over the course of two days, we visited each of the four parks and took advantage of the Extra Magic Hours to fit most everything in. This trip included my first visit to the Animal Kingdom and my first ride on Expedition Everest.

Mickey topiary at Epcot at Disney World
In front of a Mickey and Minnie topiary in Epcot
We stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort for the first time this trip
We stayed at the Caribbean Beach resort for the first time this trip

Second 2008 Visit – October 2008

Since we had only used two days on our three day pass, we decided to head down to Orlando in October to visit a former college roommate and use up our last day at Disney World. On this visit, we spent the morning at the Magic Kingdom and mid-afternoon at Hollywood Studios before heading on. This was the first visit for either of us when the parks were themed to Halloween.

In front of Cinderella's Castle in October 2008
In front of Cinderella’s Castle in October 2008
Disney decked out for Halloween
Disney decked out for Halloween

Spring Break – March 2011

About a month before college graduation, we took advantage of our last spring break and headed down to Orlando. For the first part of the trip, we stayed five nights at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. This was our first experience with a value resort and it was quite enjoyable. We spent four days at the parks this trip and had our first experience drinking around the world at Epcot. The second half of the trip was spent staying off International Drive. We spent a day at SeaWorld (we had a Busch Gardens/SeaWorld annual pass at this time) and also a day at Universal Orlando.

Spring Break at Disney
Hanging out at Animal Kingdom
One of the pool areas at Pop Century
One of the pool areas at Pop Century

A Disney World Honeymoon – August 2012

Celebrating our marriage at Disney
Celebrating our marriage at Disney

After getting married on August 25th, we headed down to Orlando the next day, battling rain bands from Hurricane Issac. It rained on and off, here and there, but we didn’t let it bother us. The only affect it had was delaying the surprise parasailing over Disney I had booked. We stayed six nights at the Caribbean Beach Resort. On this trip, we only spent one day at the Disney parks thanks to a Main Gate pass from a long time friend. We spent each evening at Downtown Disney, enjoying food and drinks.

We also enjoyed a spectacular day at Discovery Cove, riding with the dolphins and eating a bunch of food. Our favorite attraction was the lazy river around the main pool with the super warm water. Living in Michigan at the time, the cold waters of the other pools just weren’t as appealing.

We also spent part of a day at Universal Orlando thanks to another friend’s connection. This included a quick run through both Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We enjoyed a nice lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co within CityWalk.

On the last day of the trip, we checked out of our hotel and headed over to the Contemporary Resort for a parasailing adventure right next to the Magic Kingdom. It provided a really awesome view of the surrounding area and was quite a fun experience. The sail with Mickey’s face on it was a cool touch too.

A cast member provided us strawberries for wearing our Happily Ever After pin
A cast member provided us strawberries for wearing our Happily Ever After pin

Anniversary Trip – July 2015

Right after the Fourth of July in 2015, we took an early third anniversary trip down to Disney World. This was again mostly a relaxing by the pool trip with evenings spent at the under construction Disney Springs. For the first three nights, we again stayed at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort thanks to a great deal from a friend working there. Other than the occasional afternoon thunderstorm, the weather was great.

For the next three nights, I surprised Rebecca with a stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Enjoying the Tea Cups at the Magic Kingdom
Enjoying the Tea Cups at the Magic Kingdom

This was truly an amazing experience. We had an awesome view of the savanna and animals were always abundant. We highly recommend it if you ever get the choice to stay there. Only negative is the long bus ride to Disney Springs and some of the parks. On this trip, we spent one day at the parks thanks to a Main Gate pass from a friend. We visited the Magic Kingdom, enjoying some of the classics, and Epcot, riding a couple rides and enjoying some food/drinks.

The view from our hotel room at Animal Kingdom Lodge
The view from our hotel room at Animal Kingdom Lodge

What’s Next

We look forward to making more memories in a little over a week while visiting Disney World like never before with a seven month old in tote. We are sure it will open our eyes to new experiences and adventures we never realized there were.

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