Monday, May 2, 2016

My 24 Hour Disney Trip 2016

By Jeff Stillwagon 

My family recently did a 1 day, spur of the moment trip to Walt Disney World, with pretty much very little planning, and no budget planned.

It was Spring Break here in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, so all 3 kids were out of school for the week.

One night, my wife Jasmine and I noticed we both had 1 day off from work coming up, so, while joking around, we both said "Wouldn't it be funny if we went to Disney on our day off?"

Disney is about an 8.5 hr drive for us. The joking around got the wheels turning in our heads, and the next thing I knew, we'd both agreed to do it!
There was a very tight travel window for us, but we had to get our Disney fix. We also knew it was Spring Break in Disney so the crowd levels would be very high.

We made our FastPasses the day before for the rides we could book, and packed up the car the night before, because as soon as I left work the next day at 3pm EST, we would hit the road at 4pm so we could arrive in Orlando around 1am in the morning.

We really didn't have a budget for this trip, so we stayed off site at a Days Inn.
We woke up the next day and drove over to the Magic Kingdom for rope drop. Crowds were super busy but that was okay because we knew this going into it.

We also knew that we wanted to park hop to Epcot to explore the Flower & Garden Festival later in the day.

Once we got into the Magic Kingdom we went straight to Frontierland to ride our favorites, Big Thunder & Splash Mountain.

We knew the crowds would be in the back of the park near the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which we agreed to skip, along with Peter Pan, because this time it wasn't about the rides, but taking it all in.
After riding a couple rides and running around the Magic Kingdom we got hungry.

We had no ADRs plus a very small budget for food. We decided on Pinocchio Village Haus quick service, because we had never been there before. We found a great table on the balcony on the 2nd floor outside looking at the castle and the crowds below. With a family of 5 on a small budget, we all ordered kids meals because you got a meal with a drink with snacks which only cost us around $30.00 all together, which is amazing.

Once we were filled up, we rode a few more rides before heading off to Epcot.
The view of all the flowers from the monorail when you arrive at Epcot left us speechless.
It was just a perfect view of what Spring should look like and more.
We only rode 1 ride in Epcot that day, which was Nemo, but it was okay because we knew there would be time to do rides in the future, this visit was all about the Flower & Garden Festival and just being in moment.

We explored World Showcase looking at all the amazing flowers, grabbed a yummy Funnel Cake and a dish from Katsura Grill in the Japan Pavilion to share.

We had to stop at Club Cool to drink the Beverly. I still get a kick out of watching peoples faces after they enjoy that drink plus I always have to try it once myself.

My family and I finally wrapped it up in Epcot, before heading back to the Magic Kingdom, which was opened until midnight that night.

At this point we running low on energy so we decided to take it easy, enjoying a relaxing Train ride around the park. No matter how many times I've been here, it never gets old.

Before, we left we grabbed a Dole Whip. My 4 year old daughter had one final request. She wanted to meet Ariel. We went over to Ariel's Grotto. My daughter was dressed up like Ariel, including the tail fin! Ariel was so sweet to my daughter, and even called her little sister or twinsies. She still talks about that experience all the time. Such a magical memory for all of us. 
It was 11pm, so it was time to leave this magical place. It took over 1 hour to get back to the parking lot because the crowds, but it was okay. Once we got to our car we had a long drive back. I had to be back at work the next morning at 11am, so no time for a hotel.

After, being in the parks all day we all were super tired, so grabbed a quick 2 hour nap at the rest area, and 3 Redbulls later we arrived home with no time to sleep before heading to work.

It might been the most crazy thing I ever did in a short period of time, but it was all worth it.
Every single memory I will treasure all for a lifetime.

Now, would I do it again you may ask?

No, at least give me 2 days off in a row next time!



  1. oh my gosh, you're kinda crazy!! haha. But hey more power to you, I could never pull that off.

  2. It was a fun time but took a couple days to recover after we got back lol


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