Disney World Summer 2016 Visit!

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Hello friends! Well we just got back from a wonderful Disney World vacation and I have so many details to share! Since it has been a very long six months since our last visit, I wanted to quickly share a few highlights/observations of some of the changes we encountered as well as some new experiences for our family.

Off Property Stay

I know many people swear by only staying on Disney Property and I completely understand. While we also love staying in the Disney Resorts and enjoying the extra ‘perks’ such as magic hours and 60 day FassPass+ selections, this trip we had a large group and decided that staying off-site would be best for our family’s budget. You know what? We had a wonderful, magical time and did just fine without the extra ‘perks’.

We stayed at the Marriott Harbor Lake and were quite pleased. This resort is centrally located, close to all types of shopping and is only a 15-20 minutes drive to all of the parks. We stayed in a spacious 2 bedroom villa with a full kitchen, allowing us to save lots of $$$ by making some of our own meals. I’ll have more detail in another post, but I brought along my slow cooker which allowed me to prepare some meals before we left in the mornings. We would then take a break in the afternoon, come back to relax and eat, then head back to the parks in the evening.



Enhancements to FastPass+ on MyDisneyExperience Mobile app

I love that you no longer have to wait in line at the in-park kiosks to add a 4th FastPass. Being able to just pull out my phone and make our selections directly in the MyDisneyExperience mobile app after we used our first 3 FastPasses was great! On one of our park days we were at Magic Kingdom in the morning and after using our initial 3 FastPasses, I immediately picked up a 4th FastPass on the mobile app for Hollywood Studio later that night. That gave us the opportunity to leave Magic Kingdom and eat at our resort before heading to Hollywood Studios for the evening.

New Frozen Ride and Location for Anna and Elsa

The new ‘Frozen Ever After’ ride had A LOT of problems the week we were there. It broke down almost constantly. Despite multiple attempts, we were only successful once in actually getting onto the ride. But we did absolutely love it! The animatronics are amazing and surely the best Disney has ever done!



Frozen Ride Photo

We were very impressed with the new meet and great with Anna and Elsa at Sommerhus in Epcot. The decor was exceptionally well detailed and just absolutely beautiful! Before we arrived we were a little worried about being able to see Anna and Elsa considering no FastPass+ is offered, but we walked right up and saw them with only a 10 minute wait!


Ben and Gen with Anna 7:16

Gen visiting Elsa 7:16

New Soarin’ Around the World

This was another win by Disney in my book! This remains my favorite ride in all of Disney World! The scenes really took my breath away! Having the extra concourse seems to have helped with the wait times. We rode it once with our FastPass+ and once standby with a 30 minute wait. I think the times will improve even more once the Frozen ride is running smoothly.

Star Wars ‘Galactic Spectacular’, Jedi Training ‘Trials of the Temple’ and Star Wars Launch Bay

Wow! The combination of fireworks, pyrotechnics, special effects and video projections on the Chinese Theater were amazing! My favorite fireworks ever!

IMG_3661 IMG_3662




While I really wish they would have added some sort of cover from the hot sun to the Jedi experience, my son loved getting to fight the Seventh Sister Inquisitor! As usual, the cast members put on a great show!


Jedi Master 7:16

Seventh Sister 7:16

Ben fighting seventh Sister




The Launch Bay was so much fun and a great place to cool off! The exhibits were great and we especially enjoyed the meet and greet with Chewbacca and the encounter with Kylo Ren; Boy was he was intense!

Ben and Gen with Chewy 7:16

Family with Kylo Ren 7:16

Florida is still HOT HOT HOT in the Summer!

I’m not sure if I’m just getting old, but it seemed hotter than last July! Fortunately we were prepared and drank lots of water using our refillable water bottles, utilized our cooling towels, hand held fans and took afternoon breaks most days. If you are planning on a summer Disney World trip, make sure you are prepared!



Overall another wonderful Disney World family vacation! These are just a few of my thoughts and I will go into much more detail in my next post! Thanks for reading and please ‘like’ my Mondays with Mickey Facebook Page to share in our adventures!