Friday, September 12, 2014

I Went to Disney World!

Alright y'all, you asked for it, so now you're getting it! I asked in my Stacking the Shelves post this week if people would be interested in details on my trip to Disney World last week, and I was met with a resounding yes, so here we go! :D I'll admit I didn't take all that many pictures, but my mom did, so it's likely the majority of these are hers (and you will probably be able to tell! She's much better at taking pictures than I am!)

The whole reason we got to go was because my dad was going to a conference held at the Contemporary, so my mom and I simply tagged along. While he was in meetings, my mom and I did the parks. I'll tell y'all, I'm rather intense when it comes to Disney, so it was important that I got to all of the parks and did everything I wanted to do--but we only had three days to do it. My mom has already told me she will not be doing Disney my way again. Hehe. :) Anyways, Tuesday we spent travelling, and got in to Orlando early afternoon. I was excited, but nothing beat the view from our room.

Ignore my messy hair. It had been a long day already. It looked cute when I left home!
We didn't do much Tuesday, but Wednesday my mom and I got up early to be at Animal Kingdom for their Extra Magic Hours (yay for being a resort guest!) opening at 8 a.m. Once there, we immediately did the Kilimanjaro Safari, because we'd been told the animals were out early since it's not as hot--and they were right!

From there, we rode Expedition Everest (of course!) twice, did Festival of the Lion King, rode Kali River Rapids and the Primeval Whirl, and ate at my old work location, Restaurantosaurus. It was the best feeling going back to Resto! I wanted to hop back in the kitchen and make some food, but they've actually changed a lot of the menu, so I wouldn't know how. :)

Feel my excitement!!
After our morning at Animal Kingdom, we hopped on the bus and headed over to Epcot, since we had to pack two parks into one day in order to get everywhere done. Our first duty in Epcot was to get a Mickey Premium Bar. You can't do to Disney without getting one, and gosh, they're good.

Then we did Test Track, which I had heard not-so-great things about the changes they'd made, but I liked it! The track is the same, so the ride feels the same, but they've updated the surrounding to be more high tech, and they let you design a car in the queue, which you then get to see tested alongside their model car for performance. It let the ride be a bit more interactive and up-to-date.

Epcot is actually my least favorite park, so there's little I have to do while I'm there. The biggest thing is Maelstrom, the kitschy ride in Norway. I don't know what it is, but I love that ride. We rode that twice in a row--there's never much of a wait. In reality, there aren't a ton of ride in Epcot anyways, so much of what we did the rest of the day consisted of shopping--with a bit of drinking. My mom and I had wanted to drink around the world, but I had been feeling sick most of the morning (apparently I get motion sick--who knew?) so I didn't drink much aside from a hard cider at the Rose & Crown Pub (delicious! Also, the pub is home to some very cute British bartenders. Just an FYI.) and a sangria in Italy. My mom and I agree, though, that the best country in the World Showcase is France (England is a close second in my mind). They've got some great shops, two more upscale restaurants, an ice cream shop, and a quick-service restaurant--which is really delicious. The ice cream shop is new, actually, and I was not disappointed going in. THEY HAD A MACARON ICE CREAM SANDWICH. I ate it and it was marvelous.

About to ride Maelstrom, the greatest ride ever. According to me--and only me.
We had dinner reservations in Mexico, one pavilion I'd never spent much time in. Don't be like me, though. If you go inside the pyramid thing (I honestly don't know what it's called...), it looks like it's night, and you're in a market. There are little carts, a couple of shops, a little water ride, and a restaurant, the San Angel Inn Restaurante, where we ate.

Thursday was Magic Kingdom day. I had heard about the Magic Kingdom Opening Ceremony, but never gone. So, we went, and I cried. It's one of those lovely little things that makes me remember how much I love Disney, so if you go, make sure to be at Magic Kingdom about 15 minutes before park opening so you can see. :)

We then had breakfast reservations at the Crystal Palace, which is character dining with Winnie the Pooh and friends. I had never done this, but of course it was delightful. Character dining is so fun because you get to eat and just wait for the characters to come for you, which is so much less stressful than waiting in line.

We did everything important in Magic Kingdom (Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, Space Mountain, the Carousel of Progress, the People Mover, etc--some of my important things probably aren't everyone elses!), but the biggest and most important thing of all to me was Be Our Guest. Close behind that was going to Gaston's Tavern and having a LeFou's Brew (delicious!) and meeting Gaston himself (so conceited, but so delightful). Be Our Guest is one of those things that I'd built up in my head to be wonderful, so I was afraid. Nope, no reason to be. It's simply perfect. Disney's eye for detail is always impeccable, and this wasn't different. All of the dining rooms were beautiful, but we sat in the West Wing so I could see the Beast's portrait change and see the rose. We went at lunch, when it's a quick-service restaurant, and the food was delicious and fast! I didn't want to leave.

I honestly don't have a good picture with Gaston because I couldn't stop laughing. He was so perfect.

We'd seen Wishes (MK's fireworks show) from our room the past two nights, but I wanted to see it from the park--because obviously it's made to be seen from the park. I've also seen it countless times before, but that didn't mean I didn't cry.

Friday we did Hollywood Studios. This was a little different because my dad's conference ended at noon on Friday, so he joined us in the park around two. Again, we did all of the important things. (And let me stress, in the course of the morning, we did all the big things. The crowd levels in September are ridiculously low. The longest we waited for any single ride the whole trip was twenty minutes.) I got my requisite turkey leg--because nobody has turkey legs like Disney, or at least I haven't been able to find any. Hollywood Studios also has a lot of Frozen-themed stuff going on, like a show, a parade kind of thing for Anna and Elsa, and Wandering Oaken's Frozen Wonderland--which has ice skating! We didn't do much, aside from poke inside Oaken's Wonderland and eat an Olaf cookie, but it was all very cute.

We ate dinner at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater, which is one of my favorite places to eat in all of Disney World. It's made to be like you're outside, sitting in a car at a drive-in theater, and they play clips on a screen of all these movies and cartoons from the sixties. The food is also pretty darn good, and they have great milkshakes and Cherry Coke.

I also recommend you hang out on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards so you can see the Citizens of Hollywood. They come out and do a variety of entertainment all day, but it's always funny and usually very interactive.

From there, we actually went back to Epcot, because my dad hadn't been and we hadn't watched Illuminations, Epcot's fireworks show, yet. I'd actually forgotten how cool Illuminations is, but the combination of the images on the massive globe on the lagoon, the lights stationed all around the World Showcase, and the fireworks is a pretty great one.

Saturday was a travelling day again, but we didn't leave until around one, so we headed over to the Wilderness Lodge and had breakfast at the Whispering Canyon Cafe--another one of my favorite places on property to eat. They do things like bring you gallon jars of soda if you drink yours too quickly or yell out to the restaurant "We need ketchup!" if you ask for ketchup and have every bottle in the dining room brought to your table or put you in jail or simply throw your napkins and straws at you. It's just fun all the way through. Also, you can have milkshakes at breakfast. :)

We ate it.
If you honestly made it this far, I applaud you! I told y'all it'd be long, and it is! I don't mind if you just looked at the pictures. :) But that's pretty much my quick trip to Disney. I wish it had been longer, but we did everything we wanted to do and I was exhausted when I got home. (I also feel like I talked about food a lot. What can I say? Disney food is delicious!)

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