Disney World Parks Complete Guide

As many of you know, we are huge Disney fans as are many people we know. We continuously get questions about our favorite restaurants, rides and things to do in Disney. We have season passes so we go about once to twice a month. I figured it was time to share a complete guide to Disney. We will share our favorite highlights from each park in this post. Stay tuned for a specific blog post on each park that will go into more details. If you travel like we do, we love to have the best recommendations from people, especially from people who go all of the time. I realize that some people like to use vacation and travel guides for their trips and that is totally okay to do, but just wanted to provide another way to share the must see and things to do there from going often.

Magic Kingdom

Let’s start with the top favorite park! First of all would say that if you can plan a trip in the off seasons it’s the best time and also if you are able to go during the week, that is best too. Off seasons are January-February, September-October. I would also avoid going when they have special events if you can and aren’t going for that. You’re going to want to download the Disney app and make sure to link your tickets etc. Also, Genie+ will come in handy for any of the really big attractions, but I think if you do Magic Kingdom two days you can cover all the rides without Genie+. Also, another way around the really long lines on rides like Mine Train, Rise of Resistance, Slinky Dog, and Passage of Flight would be to get there for rope drop which is 30-40 minutes before the park opens. We also have often waited in those lines right before park closes and the lines have seemed less then. Now onto the fun part our favorite rides, restaurants, and things to do.

Rides

Big Thunder Mountain (this one is fun and a coaster, so I think you have to be a certain height for this)

Pirates of the Caribbean (great ride for anyone, just be careful about lifting your feet under the seats, I lost a toenail one time doing that)

Seven Dwarf Mine Train (would be smart to get a Genie+ for this one or go first thing in the morning once rope drops)

Space Mountain (this is a fav for most adults, honestly not my fav cause it’s jerky, but has a cool vibe)

Buzz Lightyear (we love this one and usually the line is a shorter wait)

Peter Pan’s Flight (this is a great kids one and is nostalgic to me)

Jungle Cruise (this one is often glossed over, but is such a fun ride and they’ve updated it)

Splash Mountain (you have to do it once, but honestly not my fav, I always get soaked)

Under the Sea (this one is Ariel’s journey and is fun)

These would be the one’s I would recommend the most at the park. They have several others for young kids like Winnie the Pooh, which unashamedly I like. My absolute favorite ride at Magic Kingdom would have to be Big Thunder Mountain and Corbin’s favorite is Mine Train.

Food Places

There are so many great places for food at Disney but I wanted to share our favorites and also the most affordable and GF friendly ones.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (has great mexican type food, they are always great with my allergies and have great prices)

Be our Guest (this is obviously more on the expensive side, but has amazing food and a great atmosphere)

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (one of my favorite quick places in Magic Kingdom, they do a great job with GF/DF options and have a great menu)

Aloha Isle (I love the dole whip here, definitely need to try it out)

Animal Kingdom

This is my absolute favorite park at Disney World. I love all of the animals, rides, and trees. It’s a really beautiful park. Most of the time animal kingdom is the first park that closes at Disney so you want to get there earlier in the day. The only ride you might want a Genie + pass for is Flight of passage, but besides that it’s not necessary for the rest of the park. Flight of passage usually has a long wait, but if you get in when the rope drops or wait till the end of the day you can just wait in regular stand by line. It’s so worth the wait!

Rides

Flight of Passage (this is my favorite ride at any of the parks and is so much fun)

Everest (probably my second favorite ride at Disney, this is a fast coaster that goes forwards/backwards)

Kilimanjaro Safari (this is a great one for kids and so much fun seeing all of the animals)

The Lion King Show (you need to make sure to see this show! It’s so good!)

Dinosaur (this one isn’t too bad of a ride, it’s just really jerky, but if you have a kid who likes dinos then definitely check it out)

I also love their Gorilla trail and all of the other animals you can see on their trails near the Safari ride. Make sure to grab photos at sunset in the tree. There is a trail to go up in the tree at Animal Kingdom that is right next to the stroller spot for It’s tough to be a bug and it’s such a pretty trail and a good quiet photo spot. Corbin and I’s both favorite ride at Animal Kingdom is Flight of Passage.

Food

Animal Kingdom has some good places to eat. They are more limited but Avatar World is definitely the place to hit up for good food in Animal Kingdom.

Satu’li Canteen (by far my favorite in Animal Kingdom, they make these delicious buddha type bowls and they are so good for GF/DF allergies.

Flame Tree Barbecue (has great barbecue and very good with allergies)

Besides those two I would recommend hoping on over to Disney Springs. I’m sharing my favorite restaurants and things to do in Disney Springs in another post coming soon!

Hollywood Studios

This park is a lot of fun and filled with a lot of rides, especially for your older kids with Star War’s Galaxy Edge. This is Corbin’s favorite park because he is the biggest Star Wars fan! You’ll definitely want to make sure you have Genie + for the bigger attractions, unless you’re a passholder. Rise of Resistance is always pretty long and slinky dog dash as well.

Rides

Rise of Resistance (this is a must and so much fun! It’s very realistic too)

Toy Story Mania (this is a really unique and fun ride, great for any age)

Millennium Falcon (this is also a great one with a lot of action and fun)

Slinky Dog Dash (this is a coaster, but definitely fun for kids too)

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad (I haven’t rode this one yet, but keep hearing good things about it)

Rock n Roller Coaster (this is a fun fast paced roller coaster in the dark)

Tower of Terror (Corbin and I don’t like this one and never ride it, but a lot of people really enjoy it.)

Food

Backlot Express (this is great for a quick meal and will be affordable too, they have lots of GF/DF options)

Sci-Fi Dine in Theatre (this is definitely more pricey but is such a neat experience)

Ronto Roasters (this was recommended by family)

50’s Prime Time Cafe (also a really cool experience, but higher priced food)

Olga’s Cantina (you need to get the blue milk here, it’s not a food place but has amazing drinks in Galaxy’s Edge)

Epcot

If you want really great food and a unique around the world experience then Epcot is your place to go. They are always adding new restaurants here too. We haven’t tried a couple of them, but will share all our favorites and others as well. You might want to consider Genie + for Test Track and a couple of those bigger rides on a busy day, but should be fine with the waits for most of the rides.

Rides

Frozen (I have yet to ride it, but hear great things)

Test Track (this is a really fun one and unique)

Soarin (you need to ride this one at Epcot, it’s such an amazing ride)

Remy’s Ratatouille (this one is super cute and different, definitely wait to get in line at the end of the day)

Mission Space (there are two versions of this ride, one that spins and one that doesn’t. I always ride the one that doesn’t)

Living with the land (this one is surprisingly cool to see especially around Christmas time)

Food

Food is the highlight at Epcot and you have so much to choose from! Some of my favorites and allergy friendly places below. Don’t forget to check out Food and Wine festival and the flower festival as well.

La Cantina De Sangel (has great mexican food, they don’t have as many options for allergies though, but have some)

San Angel Inn Restaurant (is a fancier sit down but has great mexican food and great with allergies)

Space 220 (is a new restaurant and I have not visited yet, but have heard amazing reviews about it)

Tangierine Cafe (has moroccan food, not sure about allergy options here as I haven’t eaten here since)

There are so many other restaurants I haven’t tried yet in Epcot. I do know they have a couple of Italian restaurants that offer allergy friendly options too.

Hope you all enjoyed this guide and let me know in the comments if I missed any restaurants. Let me know which rides are your favorites too. I am going to share my Disney Springs Guide in the next couple of weeks. I hope that you all enjoy your visits at Disney and let me know if you have questions and be sure to follow me and check back for more travel guides on my blog, instagram, and Tik Tok (@autumnmturner).

Wyndham I Drive Stay & Icon Park

Orlando is one of our top favorite cities we love visiting in FL and we visit about twice a month. It’s such a beautiful area and filled with so many different fun activities. We are here to help you know where to stay and what things you need to do and see when visiting Orlando as a couple. This last weekend we had the privilege of being hosted by the Wyndham I-drive and Icon Park. We got to explore more of the Orlando area and had a blast getting to enjoy our weekend getaway. We wanted to share a recap of our trip and why we think you should start planning your next couples getaway there soon!

Wyndham I-Drive

The Wyndham I-drive is right in the heart of Orlando on I-Drive one of the highlights in Orlando. I-Drive is filled with so many restaurants, attractions, and things to do. The Wyndham I-Drive is also a five minute walk to Icon Park which is home of The Wheel (used to be the Orlando eye). The Wydham I-Drive is a beautiful and quaint resort that has two pools, lagoons, gardens, a cafe serving Starbucks, a full restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a hot tub. We got to stay in the Executive suite and the room was absolutely beautiful! It had a full king sized bed, a living space, dining room, three balconies, a mini kitchen with coffee maker, sink and refrigerator, a full sized bathroom with a walk in shower and an extra half bathroom in the front of the suite. It has plenty of space for three people to stay and to relax when visiting Orlando. The resort is an 8 minute drive to Universal, a 20-25 minute drive to Disney, and a 3 minute drive to Icon Park.

There are two pools and a hot tub to enjoy with their restaurant Gatorville that is perfect to grab lunch or dinner.

What we loved most about our stay is that it was close by to Icon Park and also easy access to so many different places on I-drive and the Orlando area. Their customer service is top of the line and everyone on staff was super friendly to us. We can’t wait to go back and visit again soon!

You can save 20% off by using the link below to book your trip at their best rate, no minimum nights required!

Icon Park

Icon Park needs to be at the top of your list for attractions to visit in Orlando. Icon Park is home to The Wheel. The Wheel (previously known as the Orlando eye) takes you up in an air conditioned ride 400 feet above Orlando with the most amazing views. Icon Park is also home to the Museum of Illusions which is filled with several fun illusions and photo opportunities. There were so many fun attractions there to check out! It makes the perfect day trip activity for a date or a long weekend away. You definitely want to grab the play pass which includes 7 different attractions and discounts at restaurants and stores. It’s good for 30 days too so you can always go back and see more! The play pass includes: The Wheel, Museum of Illusions, Sealife, Madame Tusades Wax Museum, 7D Motion Game, Orlando Starflyer, and Pearl Express. We loved The Wheel, Museum of Illusions, and Sealife. The Wheel takes you up 450 feet about Orlando and you can see everything and the views are stunning! The Museum of Illusions was one of our favorites as there was so much to do and see at this museum. They had a ton of photo opportunities and fun activities that make you laugh. Sea Life was also so cool to see as well. It was a full aquarium and had a ton of fish, turtles, sharks, jellyfish, salamanders, and other marine life to see. Our favorite was the Salamanders. They also have gift shops in both Sea Life and Museum of Illusions as well as a full market place to grab food at during your adventure.

We definitely had a blast and this would be such a fun day date for couples who live in the area or are visiting Orlando. Check out more on my instagram and Tik Tok. You can save over 50% off right now on the play pass too. I linked it here for you all and make sure to check out their page for more info! Also make sure to follow us here on our blog and social accounts for more FL couples travel and adventures.

Top Things to do in Ocala, FL

We are so excited to call Ocala, FL home now. We love all of the beautiful moss covered trees and historic downtown area. We wanted to share some of our favorite local highlights. Be on the lookout for a part two as we get to know our area better.

World Equestrian center

This is a must see in Ocala, FL and you can’t visit Ocala without seeing WEC. It looks like a building you would see in Europe. This is one of our favorite places to visit, take pictures, and walk around. They have five different restaurants on site, tons of shops, a lot of horse shows going on throughout the year, a five star hotel with a pool, special events throughout the year including the Christmas Winter Wonderland event in December, and a beautiful chapel. All of the decor in their hotel is regal animal themed and absolutely gorgeous. You can visit WEC anytime of the year for free besides special ticketed events. Here are some pictures of WEC below.

Trails for Biking

One of our favorite things to do in Ocala is go biking or hiking and they have so many beautiful trails that are a part of the FL National Forest. Our favorite trail is the Greenway Trailhead at Baseline. It’s surrounded by beautiful pine trees and moss covered trees. We love biking through this trail and it’s a great trail for many activities. We also have enjoyed Santos Trail as well for biking.

Downtown Ocala

Downtown Ocala has so much to offer between their Market days, to art walks, to lots of shops and restaurants. We absolutely loved the light up Ocala event this year where we got to see the whole town square light up in Christmas lights and they had several local businesses and vendors there as well. Symmetry Coffee is a little coffee shop downtown that is a really cute place for coffee and pictures. We also love Harry’s Seafood, Salyulita’s, Ivy House, and Merevino downtown. The square has a really cute gazebo and lots of moss covered trees. It’s the perfect spot for strolling downtown or taking pictures. We haven’t checked out Market day but are planning on doing that soon.

Kayaking at Rainbow Springs or Silver Springs

There are a couple of local springs around Ocala including Rainbow and Silver Springs. If you want to go on a glass bottom boat tour then Silver Springs is your go to. That is on our list of things to try soon. Rainbow Springs is perfect for Kayaking and Tubing. We just went kayaking and what an amazing experience it was. The views are gorgeous and don’t forget to check out kayak tours with Get up and go kayak at Rainbow Springs. Plus you get to see a lot of FL wildlife while on the water. It’s also such a peaceful experience! Be prepared to get wet!

Ocala Civic Theatre

If you enjoy entertainment and seeing shows then this is the place for you. I got to see It’s a Wonderful Life with my husband recently and it was such a great experience. It was a very professional show. They have a lot of shows happening throughout the year.

These are just some of our top favorite things right now to enjoy. We can’t wait to explore more of Ocala and share more spots with you all in part two of our blog post. More FL travel guides and places to visit in FL coming soon!

Travel Guide to Cocoa Beach, FL

Cocoa Beach, FL is one of my favorite places to visit. Growing up in high school and college, we would visit there every spring break with my family and it was always a blast. My parents now live 20 minutes from there and I get to visit often. I wanted to share some of my top favorite spots to visit there including my favorite restaurants, places to stay and things to do in the area.

Restaurants

There are so many different restaurants in the Cocoa Beach area, but here are some of my favorites.

Sunset Grille-has great views and good food

Squid Lips-this is my favorite one, has great views, live music, great cocktails and amazing food! My favorite dish is the grilled shrimp with green beans and fries.

Coconuts on the beach-if you’re looking for a fried seafood place and great lunch spot with beach views this is your place. They also have a large selection of cocktails.

Frigate’s-technically this restaurant is not in Cocoa Beach but it’s only about 20 minutes from Cocoa Beach and you don’t want to miss this place. It sits on the river with a beautiful view and amazing seafood! I love the mahi and the hog fish with the sweet potato fries.

Long Doggers-another great place for lunch or more of a casual dinner. They have a lot of delicious sandwiches and fried seafood as well here. My favorite is the grilled mahi on a gluten free bun with fries.

Pineapples-is a new place that just opened up and although I haven’t tried it yet. My parents said it’s got amazing food and they also have live music and dancing.

Tiny Turtle-I haven’t eaten here before, but it’s listed as one of the best restaurants in Cocoa Beach and they have a great breakfast.

Fat Donkey-this is a must have stop for dessert. They have some of the best ice cream and they have a bunch of non dairy ice cream and it is the best I’ve ever had anywhere.

There are so many more places, but these are just a few of my favorites!

Things to Do

There are so many different things to do in Cocoa Beach since it’s a vacation spot. I listed some of my favorites.

Mini Golf at either the Lighthouse Cove Golf or Gator Golf

The Pier/Beach

The Space Center

Ron Jon Surf Shop and Downtown Cocoa

Surfing

Disney is only a short hour drive

Places to stay

I have not stayed in many of the resorts or condos as my family always went to one resort. But I’m going to share the top ones along with our favorite resort growing up.

Cocoa Beach Resort-this is the resort we always stayed at and loved! It has a great pool with a waterfall and volleyball net. They also have basketball courts, tennis courts, and beach access. The rooms are beautiful as you can get an ocean view room. Also, we loved that they had a ton of activities as well including movie nights.

Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront

Discovery Beach Resort

Crowne Plaza in Melbourne

Beachside Hotel and Suites

Holiday Inn Club Vacation

Cocoa Beach, FL is definitely a fun and great family destination with a lot to do there. I hope this helps in planning your next trip to Cocoa Beach. Let me know in the comments if I missed any great places. I will be sharing more travel guides with you all in the next couple of weeks.