Most of you know that mine and hubby’s intended New York Christmas Getaway turned into New York Hospital Stay. By the time we got home from that trip, Michael looked at me and said, “I think we need a vacation.”
So, we took one! And not a severe food poisoning/hospital one. A REAL one!
“But hubby,” I initially said. “All I want to do is wrap you in bubble wrap and never let you go on vacation or eat out ever again.”
“So let’s go to Disney World.”
And we were off!
It was one of our favorite vacations. It was also, as one of my good friends called it, a “working vacation.” This means that instead of sitting on a beach all day, we probably walked the equivalent of a trillion miles per day because, Mickey. We wanted to do ALL. THE. THINGS.
And it was awesome. (Minus that brief dehydration spell brought on by doing ALL. THE. THINGS. while drinking ALL. THE. COFFEE. Whoops. Totes my bad.)
Anywho, here’s a
brief way too detailed photo diary of our time in both Disney and Hogwarts, the latter being the place that seems to be withholding our acceptance letters. Hmm. Weird.
Bring on the Magic!
I wish this picture could capture my squeals and how I spilled my beloved junior mints in the midst of unbridled excitement.
aside from how ridiculously beautiful our “moderate level” Disney resort was, the bus system used by all the Disney resorts makes staying at any of them – value, moderate, or luxury – totally worth it.
RESORT TIP: When you stay at a Disney Resort, make sure to buy a souvenir mug. These mugs are about $16, and they provide you with FREE refills of coffee, soda, and water at your resort. Drinking a cup of coffee in the dining area each morning will pay it off easily.
dinner at Disney Springs (aka re-vamped Downtown Disney).
DISNEY SPRINGS TIP: We ate at basically most restaurants here, and while the atmosphere in most are realllllly fun, the food isn’t anything stellar. So if you’re looking for a really nice dinner, maybe go outside of Disney Springs. Other than that, our Asian cuisine at Morimoto was AWESOME. I would recommend it.
We lucked into being at Epcot on the first day of its Garden Showcase! There were butterflies and Disney princesses everywhere. I couldn’t even.
EPCOT TIP: The food here is ah-mazing. Spend all day here and eat everyyyyyy meal here! Eat meals you’re not even hungry for here. Eat. At. Epcot.
The World Showcase opens at 11, so if you want to meet Belle (in France) get to the World Showcase right at 11 – which is what we accidentally stumbled into, and I couldn’t even. Basically I couldn’t even the whole time. Then Belle told me she liked my necklace, and so now it’s officially the coolest necklace I own. Because Belle. I still can’t even.
EPCOT TIP: Eat at Via Napoli and order their pizza. It is the closest thing I have had to authentic Italian pizza since I studied in Florence. Also, get a gelato sandwich (pictured above) which consists of two doughy cookies hugging gelato.
I know, I know.
I told you!
Eat. At. Epcot.
EPCOT TIP: Ride Mission to Mars if you like roller coasters. It’s INTENSE. However, do not ride this before eating aforementioned gelato sandwich….
The safari was amaaaaaaazing. mylanta. this is when we drove through a herd of giraffes, right before a feisty antelope chased the zebras into our hummer. Not a joke.
ANIMAL KINGDOM TIP: Go on the safari FIRST THING when the park opens at 9. This is what we did, and not only was the line a lot shorter, but the animals were super energetic and happy since they just ate breakfast. Apparently they like to nap in the afternoons….(don’t we all?)
Ever seen the movie “Holes?” you’ll recognize this little guy 😉
Happy campers 🙂
ANIMAL KINGDOM TIP: WE LOVED THIS PLACE. SERIOUSLY. It’s like a zoo…but BETTER. If you have little kids, the shows are awesome. If you have big kids (or if you basically ARE a big kid, like me and the hubs), then the Mount Kilimanjaro roller coaster is awesome, and so is the Dinosaur Expedition. It’s way more fun being chased by dinos and meteorites than you might think.
Harry Potter World / Universal Studios
Diagon Alley! This is my favorite part of Harry Potter World, which spans two different parks via the Hogwarts Express. Go on the Hogwarts Express. Because Hogwarts Express.
HARRY POTTER WORLD TIP: You won’t be the only overly excited nerd here. I promise. Also, eat at Diagon Alley. We ate at the Three Broomsticks and it was a fantastic decision. Ride Escape from Gringotts. It’s super fun.
HARRY POTTER WORLD TIP: Take a picture with the Hogwarts Express Conductor. He has an excellent accent.
Hogsmeade! This is where you will find Hogwarts and lots of butterbeer.
HARRY POTTER WORLD TIP:: Hogsmeade is the smaller side of Harry Potter World. It also contains our FAVORITE RIDE FROM UNIVERSAL: Escape from Hogwarts. Do not miss this ride! It takes you through the whollllllle Hogwarts castle, and makes you feel like you’re flying! It’s too much fun.
Somehow I’m braver with my hubby. I went on the Hulk. And it was awesome.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS TIP: This is a park that is TEEMING WITH TWEENS. If you are a middle school boy, this is like your mothership. If you are not a middle school boy, perhaps you can assist them in their loud endeavors to attract female attention. Or, just be entertained by their attempts. You will not be disappointed.
Middle schoolers, I love you. You make the world go round.
Also ride: the Transformers, Men in Black (super dated, but still really nostalgic for us 90’s kids), and Spider Man rides.
This is by far my FAVORITE park. If you only have one day for a Disney park, do this one. It’s just not the same without it!
MAGIC KINGDOM TIP: While this park is my favorite, its food is my least favorite. Really. BUT the cool thing is, they let you bring in your own food and drinks!!! Since hubby and I knew this, we made a reservation at the Be Our Guest Ballroom for breakfast (which has decent food and an AWESOME atmosphere), and we simply brought PB&J’s and apples for lunch, which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Also, Disney has really good coffee. Which we also enjoyed.
MAGIC KINGDOM TIP: Don’t miss out on these rides: Splash Mountain, 7 Dwarfs Mine Train, and Space Mountain (for older kids or adults). For younger kids, (and really everyone), honestly the entire park itself is truly a magical experience. From tucked away wishing wells to walking through Cinderella’s castle to meeting Buzz Lightyear to nighttime fireworks…Magic Kingdom really is magical. I can’t say it enough!
When I didn’t get into Hogwarts, I applied to buy this particular residence. Still waiting on that to go through.
Truthfully, we only took two pictures in Hollywood Studios. One was me fangirling over Belle’s ballgown from the live-action movie, and one was of Walt Disney’s 2nd grade desk. Because those are the kinds of pictures I take.
HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS TIP: Hubby and I did this park in just half a day, and we were pleased with that decision, mainly because Star Wars world isn’t open yet. It was pretty easy to see all the attractions we wanted to in a short time span.
Similar to Universal Studios, this park was also teeming with tweens. (Again – highly entertaining and enjoyable. Middle schoolers, we love you. Don’t ever change. Except for you, young whipper-snapper, who sat behind me in the Tower of Terror and kicked my seat repeatedly to show the girl sitting next to you how you’re very mature. Perhaps you can showcase your maturity in a different way next time. I will be happy to assist you in this endeavor.)
All jokes aside, this does seem like a park for older kids, since most of its rides appeared to be thrill rides. (REALLY fun thrill rides!) Don’t miss out on the Rock N’ Roller Coaster and the Tower of Terror. They give you that fun stomach-dropping feeling.
Also, my favorite non-ride attraction was the Walt Disney Museum. It was super interesting for the history buff in me, and was also very inspiring as it showcased Walt’s creativity and drive. I loved it. Loved it.
It was such an awesome trip. I would highly recommend Disney to anyone – old, young, newly married, married for 50 years – it’s all magical.
We’re already planning our trip for next time 😉
Blessings and happy vacationing to you,