Disney Vacation Pt 3

Thursday September 20

Today we started the day with breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. It was delicious. And the atmosphere was great. It was nice to get to meat one of the princes as well. That is relatively new for Disney, so I am happy that we were able to experience that.

We then took the boat to Hollywood Studios and spent the day there. We rode all of our favorite rides again but sadly, we came out of Rockin’ Roller Coaster to a typical Florida afternoon downpour. Naturally, I had no umbrella or poncho and I had my camera in my bag. Thankfully, BFF Alysha came to the rescue and had an extra poncho. We walked to a covered food stand and waited out the worst of it. Naturally, we had to get a Mickey pretzel and Churro for the break. We debated powering through the rain to make our fast pass at Tower of Terror or just sit and wait it out. Tower of Terror won, duh.

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We had dinner at Hollywood Brown Derby and I wish I could say it was the best thing ever. But it really was nothing special. We had eaten there before and it was really good. Now the menu is just sad and the food is nothing special.

 

After dinner, we went to make our fast pass at Slinky Dog and my dad got to ride it for the first time. This ride is so much fun! No, it is not a thrill coaster, but it is still so much fun. I love it so much already.

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After dinner, Jake and I were exhausted so we headed back for an early night.

 

Friday September 21

 

Today was the last day for my lovely cousins from Cali. We met at their resort to say goodbye and hang out one last time before they had to leave for the airport. It was so nice to be able to spend this week with them and catch up.

 

The rest of the was super chill for us. We went to Disney Springs and walked around a bit. Holy shit that area has changed SO much since I was there last. I had no clue where I was.  The changes are insane and we didn’t even see it all.

 

Dinner was a double date night for Me, Jake, Alysha, and Zach. We went to the California Grill at the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort. It was amazingly good. And the atmosphere was incredible.

 

Saturday September 22

This was our last day. Sad Face. We all met for breakfast at Cape May Cafe. Breakfast buffets at Disney are the best. After breakfast, we went back to Studios because I love the shops there and we had some money left to spend.

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So we went and hung out for a bit. Got to meet some pretty classic characters and explore a galaxy far, far away.

After our shopping and fun, we headed back to our hotel to catch the magical express and head to the airport. Sadly our Disney vacation had come to an end…but here’s to 2022!

Disney Vacation Pt 2

Tuesday September 18, 2018

Finally to my home, Magic Kingdom.

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We started the day at The Crystal Palace for breakfast. We had the privilege of visiting with Winne the Pooh, Tigger, and Piglet. We had a lot of fun and breakfast was great!

After breakfast, we went to Splash Mountain and I love it so much. But, there is another ride in Frontierland that holds my heart. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This was my home for 8 months in 2015 when I was in my college program. This ride will always hold a special place in my heart.

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We met up with my mom, dad, and cousins Patty and Eddy to watch the parade. Which, also has a special place in my heart because I was able to work the parade route and watch the parades daily. Though I will say, the parade is not the same without Maleficent…

After the parade, wee went over to Tomorrowland to ride Space Mountain, the People Mover, and Carousel of Progress before heading to dinner at Artist Point.

 

Dinner was delicious, but we were even more excited for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. This event is, in my opinion, the single best thing that Disney ever does. Seriously, I love every single thing about it.

Wednesday September 19, 2018

 

We started our day at Epcot with breakfast at Akershus. After breakfast, we rode the new-ish Frozen ride. I was pleasantly surprised by this one.

We then headed to Test Track and Mission Space. I think Jake enjoyed Test Track the most. Mainly because he was able to design his own vehicle to ‘test’ on the ride. It was really cool.

 

After Test Track we went over to Soarin and Living with the Land. I LOVED the new video for Soarin. It was amazing and just made me want to travel the world. And Living with the Land was cool as usual. I think Jake like it a lot. Being able to see the work that Disney is doing with sustainability and agriculture.

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After that we intended to walk around the World Showcase and experience Food and Wine. But it was just too damn hot. So we went back to the resort and chilled in the air conditioning. Dinner was at Yachtsman at the Yacht Club. It was amazing!!!!

 

This night we  went to Hollywood Studios for a Vacation Club Member only event and got to experience the park with a super low amount of guests. The wait times were super short and we got to ride Slinky Dog Dash for the first time! It was AWESOME!!!

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Disney Vacation

Sunday September 16, 2018

 

The day was finally here. We have been planning this trip for 2 years. 2 YEARS! To say that I was excited it the largest understatement. I was giddy with excitement. Our flight left at 6:30 am from Burlington and we were in Florida by noon. Cannot. Handle. The. Excitement.

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We landed at the airport and headed down to wait for our magical express. This was Jake’s first time to Disney and staying at a Disney hotel so he was amazed at the ease of not having to deal with our luggage or transportation to our resort. It really is the best thing.

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We got to our hotel around 1 and change and headed to meet up with my parents at their hotel. We stayed with them for a while and then my mom offered for me to join her for a massage since my dad is sunburnt and can’t partake. Obviously I was not about to turn down a free massage. So, mom and I got a mother-daughter massage and Jake and my dad went to the bar and had drinks. It was fantastic.

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Dad is Disney ready!

My cousins from California arrived around 7 and we hung out at the Polynesian Resort before dinner at O’hana.

 

OMG. Dinner at O’hana was so effing good. Jake describes it as:

 

“It’s like having a dump truck of food brought to your table that is relentless…but tastes amazing. They just don’t stop. If there is only one person that is still hungry, they bring an entire platter of food. It’s insane.”

 

Oh, and he LOVED the chicken wings. Like LOVED THEM. 

 

Monday September 17, 2018

 

This was our first day at the parks. Jake and I got up super early to get to Animal Kingdom for rope drop…and it was extra magic hours so reallyy super early. We got to the park around 7:30 and headed straight for Pandora.

 

Oh. My. God. Disney did it again. Pandora is amazing. This was the first time I had ever seen it. Pandora opened a few months after my college program and I had intentionally ignored everything that I could so that I could experience it properly. Trust me when I say this, it did not disappoint. Flight of Passage is the best attraction I have ever been on in my life. EVER. It was so cool and realistic. If you get the chance, please do not skip out on this one. It is worth the wait.

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Trying to catch a cute pic while the line for Flight of Passage is moving…I think we succeeded

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We then went to meet up with my brother, sister-in-law, and cousin Alicia at Mount Everest before breakfast. We rode that a couple times and then, since it was so dang hot, we decided to ride Kali River Rapids. Bad life choice for me. I got soaked. And then I had to sit through breakfast in wet clothes. Thankfully, I packed a change of clothes in my bag for the day, otherwise, we would have been leaving realllly early.

We walked around for a bit and I got to see a few old friends from my college program days which was so nice. We took a break around 1 and headed back to the resort for a much needed break.

 

We came back around 5:30 to ride the safari before dinner. Jake was like a kid in a candy shop.

“I liked how close we were to the animals and how cool it was to see them that close to the truck.” – Jake

Dinner was at Tiffin’s and most of us were not too impressed. It was good but not my favorite. I think that dessert was my favorite part of the meal.

 

Part two coming soon………..

Disney Planning

Okay, let me share a little secret about my family. We LOVE Disney. And we are slightly obsessed with all things Disney. So, naturally we have been planning our trip to Walt Disney World for the last 2 years…I kinda wish I was exaggerating. I’m not. But to justify this crazy behavior, we have been planning with a lot of extended family. At one point we had around 30 people that were on board to go. Sadly, life happens and we are down to 11. We will not let that harm our fun though!

 

We all have our room reservations now. Unlike normal, we are all staying at different resorts. Jake and I are staying at Art  of Animation. Alysha and Zach are staying at the Yacht Club. Mom and Dad, Patty, Eddy, and Alicia are all staying at the Grand Floridian. Pat and Leigha are staying at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary.

 

We are planning our meals out now because we can make reservations 180 days out.  Actually, we have even made our dining reservations already. That is insane to me that we are already so close to the trip. My mom and I went online to make our breakfast and dinner reservations for our whole group. Unfortunately, since we have such a large group, we had to split into two groups for dinner. But they are all within 5 or 10 minutes of each other, so hopefully we will be able to sit near each other. Here is a list of where we are going for dinner:

 

Sunday: ‘Ohana

Monday: Tiffins

Tuesday: Artist Point

Wednesday: The Hollywood Brown Derby

Thursday: Yachtsman

Friday: California Grill

 

For now, that is all we can plan. We are able to make our fast pass reservations at 60 days out. I will share ALL the photos and reviews in a few posts after the trip! Bye for now 🙂

Christmas Traditions

 

Christmas has always been my favorite holiday of the year. My family has always made a very big deal out of Christmas. And not just about getting gifts, but about being together during the holiday season. Our whole house would be decorated inside and out and I absolutely loved it.

 

Growing up, from the ages of 4 to 12 ish, it wasn’t Christmas unless we were in Michigan. We had a house in Michigan that we would spend almost every weekend at in the winter. We would go snowmobiling and sledding and just be with family and have the best of times. Some of my best memories are from Christmas time in Michigan.

 

We we stopped going to Michigan as much, my grandparents would come down to us every other year or so. When I was in high school, we had the chance to go to Walt Disney World for Christmas. That was amazing and that became a new kind of tradition for us. We have spent three Christmases there since. Even though that doesn’t seem like much, it seems like we should always be at Disney for Christmas. It is such a magical place to be at anytime of the year, and Christmas is simply perfect there.

When we are home for Christmas, as we have been for the past couple of years, we get together at my parents house and open presents together. As my brother and I both have two separate families to visit, we typically meet at my mom’s in mid morning and hang out until early afternoon.

 

This year, Jake and I are spending Christmas Eve night with his mom’s side of the family after we go to church. We will spend Christmas morning together at home and then go on to my parents. We will have Christmas dinner with his family at his parents house.

 

Hope you all have a lovely holiday filled with family and good times!