If you were a fan of Brady & Tegan’s wildly lovely elopement in Yosemite then you are going to LOVE this next instalment from the couple as they honeymooned in the US and checked the fabulously fun Disneyworld in Orlando! But not before sharing with us some extra snaps from their glorious Yosemite National Park elopement. The pair tell us about their super-sized fun honeymoon together, complete with images by Brady (from Brady Sutherland Photography)…
Where did you go on your honeymoon, how long were you away and when?
Since we eloped we got a wedding and honeymoon all in one. We were away for a month in total. We got to spend our first two days as newlyweds in Yosemite National Park.
The second part was a beautiful holiday home in Borrego Springs CA with Tegan’s oldest brother and his family. Given they live so far away and we miss so many of each other’s milestones, we wanted them to be the first we celebrated with. So part of this was a 4-day long pool party, complete with matching shirts we found at Best & Less that say “Koalified to Party”.
And part three was a very fun week in Disneyworld, Orlando!
Why did you choose your honeymoon destination?
We are big kids at heart. We both love theme parks and on our first overseas trip together spent a day at Disneyland which we loved. Disneyworld was special as neither of us had been before so it was something new to experience together. We also really embraced it by wearing matching T-shirts some days and (finally) buying ears (Tegan has been to Disneyland several times before and never splurged on the ears).
Tell us about where you stayed?
We stayed in the Princess Suite at Port Orleans Riverside resort in Disneyworld. We did switch to a cheaper hotel partway through the week but that was nothing to write home about
What did you love about your accommodation? What special features did it have that you adored?
The Princess Suite was so much fun. It was covered in obvious and less obvious nods to Disney – from Aladdin’s carpet on the floor, to tiny pictures of Chip (Beauty and the Beast) & other characters on the wallpaper. Tegan’s most anticipated feature was the bathroom tap shaped like the genie’s lamp – this was honestly the reason that won her over to this specific room. Another fun surprise is that the headboard featured a picture of the Disney Castle and displayed a light-up fireworks show at the push of a button.
Did your accommodation have any “honeymoon only” specials or sweet surprises?
Nothing specific, however, Disneyworld does give badges if you are there for a special occasion, so we wore Happily Ever After badges, which meant cast members (Disney staff) were always making the effort to congratulate us!
Did you do any fun activities or take any adventures?
We spent 3 days at Disneyworld parks – Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom & Hollywood Studios, and then one day at Universal Studios Island of Adventure. The hotel we stayed at had a regularly scheduled riverboat taking you to the Disney Springs shopping district.
Now onto the good stuff! Did you have any standout meals? Amazing experiences with food that you must recommend?
The most special part of the Honeymoon was our dinner at the Beast’s Castle. This reservation-only dining experience is a three-course meal held in the Beasts Castle in the Magic Kingdom (not to be confused with the iconic Disney castle.) The castle has three dining rooms including the Great Hall, and the West Wing. We were seated in the West Wing which was a smaller more intimate space. Our server was fantastic and guided us toward the best combination of meals. We also shared an excellent bottle of Disneyworld exclusive wine (the realisation that you could have alcohol in the park led to some delicious daytime cocktails at parks the following days!). At various times during the meal, the beast would appear to check on his guests (unfortunately due to covid photo opportunities are not currently occurring).
A secondary food experience was Gideons Bakehouse in Disney Springs. In the lead-up to our trip, Brady had been religiously watching Disney Food Blog videos on youtube. Here we learned about Gideons Bakehouse and how people will line up for at least 3 hours to buy their cookies. This wasn’t something we were particularly interested in, however, when we were at Disney Springs one morning we noticed that the line was relatively short and decided to see what the fuss was about. WOW. These cookies were surprisingly cheap ($8 for a half-pound cookie COVERED in choc chips) both flavours we got were amazing and lasted us a few days because they were so big. We also each got a Gideon’s cold brew which was hands down the best coffee of the trip. If I were to go back, I would definitely be tempted to join the line even if is a couple of hours long!
Do you have any top tips to share for those planning their honeymoons?
If we were to go back to Disneyworld we might do some things slightly differently – we did not visit Epcot this time so we would probably sub that in instead of Animal Kingdom or for that day get a park hopper pass. We could have spent multiple days at Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios so would gladly repeat both of them.
We also would try and plan food ahead of time. We didn’t always want to do this because we weren’t sure if we’d be hungry for the times that we’d prearranged or maybe a ride line would be short and we’d rather go there instead however when we didn’t plan ahead we either ended up just getting the closest food item and regretting it or being in long lines waiting to order food. Either that or pack lunch yourself to save money, but we’d definitely recommend stopping for at least one treat along the day.
We also changed hotels midway through the week to save money, and this turned out to have its downfalls – the hotel we chose advertised a free theme park shuttle which technically was true, however, the shuttle ran once in the mornings and once at night meaning that you would arrive well after opening time and have to leave before close. It also only stopped at Magic Kingdom park for Disneyworld which would mean guests would need to spend more time transferring busses to the park they needed. Because of this, we ended up taking Ubers to and from the parks for the remaining days, and due to the rush of people trying to leave the park at once after closing the prices dramatically increased (eg around $70 at night compared to $12 in the morning). So, though we did probably save some money overall, it wasn’t enough to justify the move. We’d probably opt to stay in one of the cheaper rooms at the same resort. Plus, the bonus of staying in the Theme Park branded hotels is also early entry, and even though it’s only between 30 minutes and 1 hour it truly does make a difference. Some mornings we got on 3 or 4 rides before parks even opened to the public.
Highlights? Low lights? Any regrets?
Highlight: A significant highlight for Brady was getting to visit Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios. Brady has been a lifelong Star Wars fan and loved this area of the park so much that he got teary (something he neglected to do at his own wedding!). A particular highlight within this is that we only the day before had found out that alcohol was served in Disneyworld including themed cocktails. So we couldn’t leave Galaxy’s Edge without trying Batha Milk. The parks were fantastic without cocktails of course, but this did add an extra layer of fun.
Although ’technically’ our honeymoon was at Disneyworld, a highlight was the day we spent at Universal Studios Island of Adventure. The rides here are much more intense and as a lifelong Jurassic Park fan, Tegan was incredibly excited to be able to go on the new Velocicoaster. Stopping for a midday butterbeer at Harry Potter world was a very delicious choice, and we had a delightful surprise when we finally decided to cave in and go on the new Hagrids Magical Creatures Motorbike adventure – we had avoided it all day because the line was 2 hours long and we didn’t expect much of it but it ended up being one of our favourite rides of the whole week.
Thanks to Brady & Tegan for sharing their terrific honeymoon with us! What a jam-packed few weeks of fabulousness they had getting married AND honeymooning!