Trip Report: Beach Time and Magic Kingdom

I have great memories of visiting Cocoa Beach with my family when I was a child. I still remember riding the waves on a raft with my dad while my mom and sister played in the sand. Florida has no shortage of beach options to visit. All of them are at minimum an hour from Walt Disney World. I researched a few of them but when calculating the time and distance from Legoland and then back to the Disney Springs area Cocoa Beach made the most sense for us. It also let me reminisce a little too.

We were running a little later than planned getting checked out of Legoland. We slept in since we had spent the prior evening at Epcot and then packing up most of stuff. It was finally just about last minute for check-out when we had the car loaded and were ready to go.

A crazy thing happened on our drive to the beach. We were channel surfing a lot. We stopped on 97.5 WPCV for a song that I couldn’t even name now. After the song the radio host spoke about Legoland and then had a trivia question to win tickets. The question asked “What four states or districts [No hints or anything.] are represented in Miniland?” I rattled off “Washington DC (obviously!), California, Nevada, and I think, New York” so quickly that my husband decided to pick up the phone and call. I laughed at him. Then he told me I needed to call on my phone too. After much eye-rolling I did. And they answered the call! I actually panicked for a moment, but he told me I had to be the one to answer the question because he was driving.

I gave my answer and she told me I was wrong. I sigh and said, well guys, “I guess it wasn’t New York.” The radio host came back and told me New York was correct, but California wasn’t. I mentioned we just left and I had a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge on my phone. Then suddenly I was a winner! I was quick shocked. The kids were kicking and screaming with excitement in the background.

After a short chat, we learned due to Covid-19 restrictions the tickets would need to be mailed to us so we wouldn’t be able to pick them up and rearrange our plans for the rest of the trip. Still, it was very exciting. The call ended just in time to finish providing directions to the beach.

First, however, we didn’t have towels. This called for a stop at the world-famous Ron Jon’s Surf Shop. When I was my daughter’s age and first visited the shop it was literally a shack on the beach. A few years later it had grown tremendously and is now a landmark shop in Cocoa Beach.

We arrived on the sand to beautiful, blue skies with a few white clouds scattered throughout and very hot sand under our feet. In the distance two Disney Cruise ships could be seen. There was almost no one at the beach.

After renting an umbrella we jumped right into the water. It was perfect!

About forty minutes into our beach time the clouds to the west were telling us we’d have to cut it shorter than we would like. In the distance there was lightening coming. It was time to dry off while we still had some sunshine. We also managed to grab a family picture with the blue skies still over the ocean.

On to Magic Kingdom

We drove from the beach back to Orlando in a pretty wild Florida thunderstorm. Much of the rain passed but the lightening still lingered.

Our hotel for the remainder of our stay was B Resort & Spa located in the Disney Springs area. This is one of the Official Disney Springs hotels that provide similar benefits to an on-site stay. We took just a little time to settle into our room and wash off all the sand we brought back with us.

Magic Kingdom park hours were limited since reopening in July. This meant the park was closing at 7pm. We were mainly going to the park for dinner since we had been running behind most of the day.

That didn’t mean we didn’t pack in a little bit of fun first. Walking in we were greeted by a mix of characters waving from the Train Station.

While the clouds still lingered and a few rain drops fell here and there we walked down a nearly empty Main Street USA and headed into Tomorrowland and stayed dry battling on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin, zipped through Space Mountain, watched Stitch act silly on the Tomorrowland stage, and took a ride on the Tomorrowland “Slowway” as we call it. All done in under 45 minutes. It was just in time to make our way to dinner at Tony’s Town Square.

I have heard mixed feedback on Tony’s, but our family really enjoyed it. We liked it so much that after we left I booked it for the next trip too! Our meal was at park closing time and there was nearly no one in the restaurant. From our table we could see everyone else leaving and Mickey and friends now at the train station bidding farewell for the evening.

It was still a strange feeling sitting there watching Magic Kingdom close in the daylight hours. We took our time with the meal and then walked down Main Street one more time. We were able to get a few family pictures taken, I chatted with the PhotoPass photographer– about closing early, about crowd levels, and about the pink castle– and then I snapped some of my own pictures of the kids. I didn’t want to leave with the sun barely starting to set, but it was time to go settle into our room for some rest to be ready for our next park day in the morning.

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