For this post, I wanted to interview two people that love Disney the way I do. My cousins Jules and Joseph have gone to Disney with my family and I since they were super young, and still visit at least once a year. They have unique experiences and insight when it comes to planning, parks and food. I was fortunate enough to chat with them about their thoughts on all things Disney World.
Please introduce yourself a bit! When did you first visit Disney?
Jules: The first time I went to Disney I was three years old, and I’ve gone 16 times since then. I have a lot of good memories in Disney, and it’s my favorite spot to go on vacation.
Joseph: I was one year old when I first went to Disney and I went there..I think 9 times since then!
How do you rank the parks from most to least favorite?
Jules: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot.
Joseph: Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Magic Kingdom is tied with Hollywood Studios.
What’s the best spot to eat in Disney?
Jules: Does it have to be in the parks?
Jules: My favorite restaurant in Disney is Flying Fish, Joseph likes the pizza place next to Flying Fish but Flying Fish just gets it for him…Trattoria al Forno!
If you had to give someone advice on what they absolutely have to do in Disney World, what would be some of the things you’d recommend?
Jules: I think that if you only have one day, definitely go to Magic Kingdom because they have the most variety of different rides, like roller coasters to shows. It’s just the most magical park. Literally it’s called MAGIC Kingdom. Make sure to get a Mickey pretzel and a popcorn. Don’t be pulled by the walkup stands, keep looking and you’ll find a good sit-down restaurant. And pace yourself for your food!
Joseph: If you like technical things, you should definitely go to Epcot. If you like designing, definitely do TestTrack. If you want to buy a snack get popcorn or a Mickey pretzel.
What’s your favorite ride?
Jules: Splash Mountain.
Joseph: TestTrack tied with Flight of Passage.
Do you have a favorite hotel to stay at?
Jules: Grand Floridian.
Joseph: Port Orleans French Quarter is one I’d definitely stay at. It’s very calming and it feels like you’re in a little town. It’s really hard to pick just one.
Do you collect anything Disney related?
Jules: We collect pins, and I used to get a stuffed animal everytime but I don’t really anymore.
Joseph: Yeah and I have a banshee from Pandora.
Tell me a little about doing Disney vip experiences. Do you plan ahead of time or wing it?
For context: A VIP experience is an extra cost experience where an individual cast member takes you to any park and rides you wish to go on, and you and your group can cut the line via the cast member entrance and go on as many rides as possible within your allotted time. Joseph and Jules have been able to go on a few of these tours and do this instead of becoming annual passholders.
Jules: The first time we did it, the Cast Member tour guide picked us up at our hotel, which we figured out later on took time out of the actual day. We didn’t really have a plan that time, so we didn’t get as much done. The second time we met them in the park which saved a lot of time, and we also planned out what rides we wanted to go on.
Joseph: And we didn’t have lunch.
Jules: Yeah, we didn’t have sit down lunch, we just did walk-ups. And we also kind of planned the day before, it depends what you’ve done on your trip already. We made a list of what we wanted to do and what the smartest way to do it would be. Like what park would be busiest. At the time, Hollywood Studios would be because of Galaxy’s Edge opening. We learned on the way to prioritize.
Did you go to the fireworks after?
Jules: On one trip we were tired and it was still early after the tour was over. When we did a VIP tour for my birthday, we originally planned to end in Magic Kingdom and have dinner at the Plaza and watch the fireworks but we were so tired. Instead we went to Sanaa and watched them from our hotel.
Do you switch it up each time?
Jules: We switch it up because there’s new rides and it depends what we’ve done on a trip, so it changes.
How old do you think a child should be when they first go to Disney?
Jules: I remember some things from my first trip, I think I was a little young but it was still magical to be young when you go, so 3 and a half/fourish.
Do you have any “snack opinions?”
Jules: I personally don’t like dole whip, I think it’s overrated! My favorite restaurant differs. There’s like categories, ones in the park for lunch or dinner. My favorite in the parks would be Liberty Tree, but out of the park for lunch is Kona Cafe.
Some people get worried that sit-down meals in the park will be too much and it can make the rest of the day difficult or they will be too tired; do you think that’s true?
Jules: I don’t think that’s true. You go so much before you even eat and you’re burning so much energy. If you’re on the dining plan, don’t feel like you have to eat everything.
You sometimes do the higher level dining plan (Deluxe), do you think it can be too much?
Jules: Yes, sometimes, but I’m glad we do it. You don’t have to eat everything, but you have a lot of options.
Is it more immersive to eat in the parks or on property?
Jules: Joseph is particular, so we do get food delivered to the hotel for him and sometimes I will snack on things we bought like a granola bar in the morning, but we don’t really go off property to eat.
Joseph: When you go to the hotel it’s not as magical anymore, it can be ordinary.
What’s your favorite part about Disney World? The rides, characters, food, atmosphere?
Jules: I think it’s like…this is Gen Z of me…but I think it’s the vibe. Everyone’s so happy and willing to help you or make you happy. Everyone’s excited to be there.
Joseph: the same for me!
I want to extend a huge thank you to my amazing cousins for sharing all of their Disney wisdom with me, thank you for reading!
Hannah Bouchard is the co-creator for Completely Magic.