Wow, there is just so much I want to say…I have so much to tell!
If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know just how wonderful my week in Walt Disney World was. And if you read this post, you know just how much I adore Disney. There is so much life and happiness in everything about Disneyland and Disney World and Disney Cruise Line.
This trip was full of laughter and joy. I conquered a few fears of the roller coaster and food varieties. The land part of the vacation was harder as far as the pressure to rise roller coasters goes. Rides like that (and ones that loop and spin and jerk) make me nauseous and give me headaches. Nobody quite understands that. Ever. And it is pretty irritating, to be honest. But I did make it through one ride called Expedition Everest, and I can tell you that I probably will not ride it again. It goes backwards for a decent part of it, which was quite possibly the worst part. Nevertheless, I am glad I did it because now people can stop harassing me about it.
The first half of the trip can be summed up into all the pictures I posted, along with their captions. I knew I would not be blogging much, if at all, while I was away, so I left my updates to my social networks. Let’s take a walk through short-term memory lane, shall we?
Destinations: Brunch at the Boardwalk, Hollywood Studios, Kidani Village (our resort)
Animals spotted on the Savannah: birds, zebras, gazelles, giraffes
Can’t wait for the rest of the crew to get here!
Short and sweet for the first day. I did not know everything I would do. They got longer as the week progressed, but this was the important stuff. We were staying at the Kidani Village, which is part of the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is pretty small and far away from other resorts and the parks, but I enjoyed it. While we did not have what classifies a “savannah view” room, we still had a pretty good view of it. Almost every morning, there were these two birds my sister and I named Chad and Bernie. I made up a bunch of things I imagined them saying to each other based on their actions.
Then we were off to brunch (which was a buffet and extremely delicious) at the Boardwalk resort. Fruit, eggs, bacon, french toast…the list goes on. It was a character breakfast, so Donald and Goofy and Minnie (among others) made their way around the dining room. I am still a kid when it comes to that, so I jumped at the chance to take pictures with them. We walked back towards Hollywood Studios after that. Disney World has a phenomenal bus system that makes it so easy to get from park to park and back to your resort, but the park was so close that it was an easy walk.
At this point, only our family had arrived in Florida, so it was just us all afternoon. The next family to fly in made it to the resort that evening, so we came back a little early to eat dinner and hang out at the pool with them.
It was wonderful to be back at the most magical place on Earth 🙂
Destinations: Epcot, Blizzard Beach
Countries visited: all eleven
Reasons to smile today: the cute worker at the French sandwich place flirted with me.
Currently wondering: when will the thunder stop? When will the Willards get here?
EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, was our first stop. There are some fun rides there, but my favorite part of it is the World Showcase. The World Showcase is made up of eleven “countries,” where you can find restaurants, shops, and the occasional ride. Besides Mexico and of course, America, it is the closest I have come to visiting each place. There is Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada (in that order).
Then five of us kids took off to Blizzard Beach, one of the two water parks. It is a fun thing that we did on our previous trip, so it was a must to repeat. All that is really there are waterslides, and you can bet your bottom dollar we did as many as we possibly could. The biggest is called Summit Plummet: a 140 foot drop. As a girl who is afraid of heights and desperately wants to avoid that kind of wedgie, I let Cole and Chelsea take the reins on that, while Mitchell, Haley, and I watched from below.
Disney has this little thing called Magic Hours for those staying at the resorts. On this day, Hollywood Studios was going to be open for an extra hour. Since it was more spontaneous than being a set plan, it did not make it into my Instagram caption. Oops! But we showered back at the hotel and were off! We squeezed in a very late dinner and a few rides before crowding onto the bus home. And when I say crowded, I mean that as an understatement. All the seats we taken, and there was no standing room left. Personal space was pretty nonexistent that night.
Destinations: Universal Studios (basically just for Harry Potter World)
Woke up at 6 am to Uber here
Of course, I needed to try a butter beer
Looking for a Slytherin t-shirt because that is my Hogwarts house.
Also in need of something Jurassic Park related.
A mere twenty minutes away from Walt Disney World is Universal Studios, Orlando, which consists of Universal Studios and Island of Adventure. There is a Harry Potter World in both parks, and I was very excited to see them! I love Harry Potter, and I must say they did a fantastic job recreating Diagon Alley and Hogsmead. We had to get to the park at seven o’clock in the morning (right when the park opens) so that we could get on the two rides there. The first one was fine as far as motion sickness goes, but the second one made me quite sick to my stomach. I am glad I rode it, though. A butter beer was a must, as well, and while it was just cream soda with a butterscotch (I think) foam on top, it was worth it.
I have taken several quizzes online, and they have all told me that Slytherin would be my house if I went to Hogwarts. Because of that, I was on the lookout for a t-shirt or some kind of memorabilia in that beautiful green. None of the shirts were to my liking, and the phone case I liked was a bit too expensive for me. Since I plan on purchasing the iPhone 6s when it comes out in September, I figured I would just wait until then and grab one off of Amazon. Same goes for the shirt. I ended up buying an heavenly soft Jurassic Park shirt for a good price. Not complaining.
Besides Harry Potter World, my favorite part was the ET ride. It no longer exists in the Universal here in Los Angeles, so I jumped at the chance to ride it for the first time. I adore the movie! If you have not seen it (like my brother and sister, whom I am ashamed of because of that), I highly recommend watching it. As a kid, I always thought the little alien was cute in a weird sort of way. I still think it is adorable.
We finally left the park at around ten, and boy was I exhausted. Let’s just say I slept well that night.
Look, I found Penny Lane!
Destinations: Animal Kingdom, hotel for a nap, random exploring
The Willards finally joined us on our adventure.
I am so happy that there is a Starbucks in every park because coffee is life
Gray clouds are moving our way which means rain. Again. At least I am in a place where there isn’t a drought.
This was one of my favorite days because I got to see Gracie!! She was visiting her dad’s fiance and daughters, who live in Tampa, and met up with us. I was so happy to see my beautiful friend 🙂
I love Animal Kingdom because it involves–you guessed it–animals! There is a safari ride that takes you on a tour through the savannah, and you get to see all these awesome animals! Many of them we can see from our hotel room, but here there are lions and elephants and others that we don’t get to see. And this time we got to get up close and personal with them. I have never seen a white rhino so close up before! One of the rarest animals came within a few feet of our truck. SO. COOL.
On this day, we met up with the fourth family in our crew. It was so great to finally be all together!
Instead of napping like I should have, I headed off to the Magic Kingdom for Magic Hours that evening. We rode a few great rides and visited the Hall of Presidents show in Liberty Square. Liberty Square (and presidents) is Gracie and my favorite part of the park. Can you tell why we are best friends? I love history, and seeing that “land” solidified my decision in making that subject my minor. Eeeeeeep!
Destinations: Magic Kingdom, Typhoon Lagoon
I had to take a picture with Cinderella’s castle because she is my favorite princess
There is so much Disney in this park, and I adore it.
Eating lunch in Belle and the Beast’s ballroom.
Just being here is so magical
Btw my blog turns 1 today! I am celebrating.
We wore our matching shirts today!!
The Magic Kingdom park is definitely my favorite. It is very much like Disneyland, but there is a different take on a few things. As I said before, Liberty Square makes me that happiest. It takes the place of Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. Here, the Haunted Mansion has more of a New England feel than an old plantation house look. I adore both, though. I just think colonial New England is gorgeous.
Disney’s presence is everywhere in this park. The Carousel of Progress, which he showed at the 1964 World’s Fair in New York, still exists in Tomorrowland. As dorky as it was for my family to sit through it, I was so happy to walk through the twentieth century through Walt’s eyes. The People Mover is also still around in Florida, thankfully. It is a relaxing ride. Not much to see in it anymore, but the philosophy behind it is alive for me.
Disney decided to hold a special party for its Vacation Club members at the other water park, Typhoon Lagoon. That night, we changed into our suits and hauled ourselves there. We rode every slide that was open, caught waves in the wave pool, floated down the lazy river, and helped ourselves to the complimentary chips and cookies offered.
Destinations: Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney
It is our last day here before we are off to Port Canaveral to board the Disney Fantasy for a seven night cruise through the Caribbean.
Today it is gloomy and overcast, but I think it makes for a great, dramatic backdrop.
Dinner tonight is at a 50s diner.
I am repping AOII today, and I saw a fellow panda walking the streets. Needless to say I got a little excited. I miss my sisters a ton.
Got two decorations for the antennae for my car. A Minnie Mouse head and Cinderella’s slipper.
Sad to leave this wonderful place but stoked for a new adventure.
Today was the day I chose to represent my wonderful sisterhood. How surprised I was to see a girl wearing her own AOII letters! She was not from my chapter, but Alpha Love to all my pandas. Once again, Hollywood Studios was in our agenda, but this time, it was for the whole group, rather than just my family or a few of us teenagers.
The rain started when I took this picture. The sky looked pretty great–maybe not in this photo, though. It did not last for long, but it never really does here. The only problem was that it was still warm and the humidity only got worse. Being at such a magical place, I tried not to complain.
Not in my original plans, I went to Downtown Disney for a bit with my parents and Haley. Nothing but shops and restaurants, but those are my favorite things! At the World of Disney store, I picked out a mug with the wonderful Marie (the cat from The Aristocats, in case you have not gotten how much I love her from my bio) and two antennae toppers! The only decision now is which to put on first! These things added to my list of souvenirs, which before this day only consisted of a Minnie Mouse wallet.
For dinner I ate the most delightful chicken pot pie. I still think about it…Okay, reminiscing over. For now, at least.
And that concludes the first half of my trip! Soon I will post about the wonderful cruise, since that part you all are still pretty in the dark about.
This is where most of the food challenges met me. I will elaborate later, but let’s just say that eating three full meals a day (in which dinner includes and appetizer, soup or salad, entree, and dessert) truly tested me in my journey.
But until then, Ash 🙂
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