It’s about time I got this up isn’t it? I want to start adding more Disney Parks related posts on this blog instead of just limiting them to my other one, although I'm still undecided about combining the two blogs and leaving the other one just for ‘working in Disney’ related topics. Anyway, enough rambling, i thought I'd do a summery of mine and Craig’s trip to Florida that we took in June. We visited for 10 days and stayed on International Drive to save money. It was a budget trip and I reckon we did pretty well overall (hotel, flights and Disney tickets working out at £900). I have a more in-depth post on each day over on my Disney/Travel blog, so click on the title links if you want to see more! Although it was cheap, I think in future I would rather just save some more and stay on Disney Property. It’s just easier to be able to pop back to the hotel for an afternoon nap or partake in the array of Disney resort extras. I’m also happy to say, the boyfriend has now been fully converted to Disney, and now regularly says “I want to go back to Disney World!” He’s also started to correct people who say Disneyland instead of Disney World. I taught him well…
Day 1 Magic Kingdom
Its the only place to start a Disney trip really, isn't it? We got to the park at opening, which I've never actually done before (for Magic Kingdom anyway)! I used to work until quite late on my ICP so never quite made it out of bed early enough, but i was determined to try it out this year. I have to say, I'm converted. The welcome show was amazing and we did so much in such a short amount of time. From now on, Magic Kingdom is going to 100% be a rope drop affair. We pretty much stayed in the park until close, which makes a long 14 hour day! We just couldn't not watch wishes and celebrate the magic though. Speaking of, we actually saw them from a different place than usual. Our usual spot was blocked off because of the refurbishments so we stood in front of the castle in the hub for the first time. I have to say, I prefer my regular spot. The hub was way too cramped although we did still get a great view of the show. Other activities of the day included riding some of my favourite rides, plus some I've never been on, watching Dream Along with Mickey, meeting Snow White and watching the Festival of Fantasy Parade for the first time from the fast pass area! The weather was gorgeous
Day 2 Universal Studios
I originally didn’t intend to go back to universal but seeing as my annual pass was still in date, and Craig is pretty obsessed with Harry Potter, we decided to take advantage. I’m not a massive fan of Universal, i just get really bored there once I've done Wizarding World, although I will be totally going back next Florida holiday to see Diagon Alley. After a long first day in Magic Kingdom, we woke up later and got the 11:40 shuttle to the park, then proceeded to spend the day in Studios, before a brief visit to Island of Adventure. As alot of the rides in Studios are 3D, we couldn't really do them, as 3D movement things make Craig very travel sick, but we did get to experience some of them such as The Mummy, ET, Twister and Men in Black. I was also made up to see the animal actors show, and pretty much just went ‘awww’ throughout the whole thing. For most of the day we were also stalking the twitter #potterwatch hashtag for diagon alley news, cos sad. Unfortunately, no softs while we were in Florida, but ah well!
Day 3 Blizzard Beach and Magic Kingdom
Even a ‘chill out’ day in Disney can be exhausting! It was an early start for us and off to Blizzard Beach. I’ve never actually been here, as when I went with my parents back in the day, it was closed, and during my ICP I didn't visit the water parks at all. I absolutely loved it! We had planned to meet up with my friend Lindsey, who I worked with in Magic Kingdom during my ICP program (she's now a seasonal cast member) and Tommy, who i also worked with. They came around midday, so for the morning me and Craig floated around the lazy river and played in the wave pool. When Lindsey and Tommy arrived, we did some of the water slides, although I'm not nearly brave enough to do Summit Plummet, and lazy river’ed it up again until it was time to head off to Magic Kingdom, to catch out dinner reservation at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. What was going to be a quick visit soon turned into dancing away at the Move it Shake it Parade, meeting Mickey Mouse, Tinkerbelle, Ariel and experiencing Enchanted Tales with Belle, in which Craig played the knight! In all, a pretty great day shared with great friends!
Day 4 Hollywood Studios
Star Wars Weekend time! Although we didn't really do many Star Wars related things, as I did most of it last year and Craig was too hot to care. Did I mention this day was extremely hot? Hollywood Studios is the hottest park (due to the black tarmac everywhere that retains heat) and this day we were literally ducking in and out of stores so we could cool off in the air-con. I don’t remember too much of what we actually did looking back. We went on a few rides like rock n roller coaster and the great movie ride, then watched some shows, Beauty and the Beast and Indiana Jones, plus did the animation class (i freakin love it)! I think the highlight of my day was meeting Sorcerer Mickey! My favourite Mickey costume by far. He was such a cutie. Originally we were going to stay for the Star Wars Weekend fireworks, but we were just too exhausted and decided to head back early.
Day 5 Animal Kingdom
I love Animal Kingdom! It’s my favourite park after Magic Kingdom, I just cannot get bored there! The tree of life always takes my breath away and watching the animals is fascinating. We started with the Kilimanjaro Safari, upon which I saw Lions for the first time. They’ve never been visible the many times I’ve rode this in the past. Lazy lions! We also explored Dino-Land, rode Dinosaur and spent so long in the shop playing with the toys and hats! Other activities included meeting Daisy Duck, meeting Pocahontas, riding Kali River Rapids, watching Festival of the Lion King in its new location at the Harambe Theatre, and nomming at Pizzafari. Towards the end of the day, we had our first rain of the trip! We sat outside of Restaurant-O-Saurus for abit before making the dash to Finding Nemo the Musical. As Animal Kingdom closes early, we spent the evening in Downtown Disney, where lots of pennies were spent. Not feeling particularly hungry, we just grabbed a sandwich at Wolfgang Pucks Express, which was pretty delicious. I really have to try this place for breakfast one day.
Day 6 Epcot
Although Future World can get a little boring, the World Showcase is one of my favourite places to visit. After doing the main hits like Club Cool, Test Track and Spaceship Earth, plus Journey into the Imagination with Figment (where i absolutely fell in love with him, he’s so cute!), and meeting some characters, we spent the rest of the day mainly exploring the pavilions. I feel like there is always something new to do each time I go, from trying new food to watching the little shows they have on. My favourites have to be the UK pavilion (obviously) and Japan for the veggie sushi and massive store filled with geekery goodness. We managed to catch Mulan during out rounds and popped over to see Donald in his Mexican get-up, to wish him a happy birthday. We also rode the three caballeros ride and Maelstrom (RIP, wahhh!), while waiting for illuminations, which we watched from the UK pavilion. I kind of dismissed illuminations in the past, having only seen it once before, but i actually really enjoyed it. It made me quite emotional and gave me hope and determination to one day represent my country in the UK pavilion as part of the Cultural Representative Program.
Day 7 Fantasmic
This was our designated ‘day of rest’, although we had fast passes booked for Fantasmic preferred viewing in the evening. Hello lie in! It was actually a pretty lazy day. We ended up making a little picnic and sitting by the pool at our hotel, before the storm rolled in. Around 5 we then headed to get the Lynx 50 bus to Disney, upon arrival being told our 9pm Fantasmic show was rained out, boo! We decided to risk the 10:30pm show, although the last lynx bus left the TTC at midnight. It was quite a weird evening to be honest. All the food places closed early, so we had to settle for ABC Commissary (I wanted Pizza Planet boooo!) and ended up getting hot coco as it was pretty cold after the storm. I felt there there wasn't much to do, and that we were just waiting around for Fantasmic. Of course it was worth it, and I was buzzing after seeing my favourite show. Then the mad dash to the busses came. We hopped on a bus to the Polynesian, as the TTC is right next door, and ended up having a lovely chat with the driver and some other guests. The bus driver was amazing! She was a prime example of that famous Disney service, and ended up dropping us off right at the TTC so we wouldn't miss our bus.
Day 8 Universal Island of Adventures
Our second trip to universal saw us stay in Island of Adventures for most of the day, apart from a brief 20 minutes in which we nipped over to studios see the ‘London Waterfront’, as the barriers were taken down the day before. It rained quite abit, but we did managed to fit in Jurassic Park and the Bilge-Rat Barges around the rain. Ain’t nobody got time for getting even more drenched plus air-con! This day felt more chilled out than our previous universal day, and we spent alot of time wandering around the shops, sitting outside the three-broomsticks with some hot coco and going on some of the ‘tame’ rides, such as those on Seuss Landing. Of course we did wizarding world again, me going on Forbidden Journey on my own as it makes Craig’s motion sickness flare up really bad! As I said previously, I’m getting a little bored of Universal now, and if if wasn't for Diagon Alley, would be giving it a miss for the next few years.
Day 9 Magic Kingdom
The last day boo! We chose to get the 11:40am shuttle from our hotel to the park today, as we were planning on staying until after wishes and I doubt Craig could have kept up, or survived another 14 hour day. We started with our usual strolling around, popping onto rides with a shorter wait time and wandering around the shops misty eyed, wanting everything. It seems to be a ‘thing’ that it always starts to rain when we go onto a water ride, so of course, during Splash Mountain the downpour happened. It literally started moments before the drop. Needless to say, we may as well have just jumped in the water. I vlogged it and it made for some interesting footage let me tell you! Unfortunately, because the rain was so bad the Festival of Fantasy Parade was rained out. It pretty much pissed it down for 3 hours and because there was lightning within 5 miles, all the outdoor rides went 101 which meant the rides that were open suddenly developed massive wait times. We ended up getting some hot coco (i seriously because obsessed with it in the last few rainy days),wandering around the shops and watching some shows. Luckily, the rain stopped before our Mine Train fast passes, I would have been gutted if we didn't get to ride it! Before that though, we met Gaston, such a great character <3 After chatting to him for abit, we headed over to Mine Train! I have to admit, it was a little underwhelming. Not as intense as Thunder Mountain (if that can even be called intense haha) but the theming is fantastic. I did enjoy it though and its worth a ride (just not a 3 hour wait). For the rest of the evening we did some more rides and watched ELP from a great spot in front of a popcorn cart in Frontierland (outside Liberty Tree Tavern). My friend Lindsey was working it so she let us stand infront when it started so we got a great view. It really brought back to many memories of working the carts during the parade or watching it from Frontierland with my roomies, and I did feel a little emotional. After saying goodbye to Lindsey and promising to come back next year, we zipped over to the hub for our wishes preferred viewing fast pass. Because it had rained, we weren't aloud onto the grass but luckily we got a good spot and no one stood right in front of us. Celebrate the Magic and Wishes were as amazing as always, both me (while trying to stop myself welling up) and Craig singing along. Afterwards, it was time for our last ride, The Haunted Mansion, before making our way up main street, glancing back at the castle and promising myself I’ll be back real soon. Once again, another amazing Disney trip with lots more lifelong memories <3
Although this year was a spare of the moment budget trip, i thoroughly enjoyed it and got to do some new things. That's going to be one of my aims for future trips, to do different things each time that I can ‘tick off’. Hopefully we can plan a 2015 holiday to Disney World and this time stay on Disney property. If you want to see more from my Disney trip or revisit my previous Disney adventures, you can check out my videos here!
Have you been to a Disney Park? When is your next Disney holiday?