Day 4-Animal Kingdom

The last day at Disney has come upon us! The dreadful day 4. I use the word “dreadful” not only for it being the last Disney park, but for the reason that we are all seriously about to pass out walking. Don’t get me wrong, Disney World is amazing, but it gets super tiring having to get up at 7:00am each morning after strolling around a giant maze all day long the day before. Day 4 was spent at Animal Kingdom. It’s almost like a glorified zoo. There are a few enjoyable rides and 3D shows like the roller coaster, Expedition Everest, and the show, It’s Tough to be a Bug, but the park is mainly about it’s live animals. One of the main attractions at Animal Kingdom is the Kilimanjaro Safaris, which takes a group of people on a jeep ride through the Harambe Wildlife Preserve. The Harambe Wildlife Preserve is a spectacular 110-acre sanctuary dedicated to the protection of African animals. This was one of the last things we did, but it was amazing to see all the animals roaming free. We saw elephants, black rhinos, zebras, antelope, and giraffes. There was more to be seen like hippopotamuses and cheetahs, but it was a hot day out and our tour guide mentioned how many animals would be taking shelter in the trees. I’m getting a little ahead of myself! We arrived at Animal Kingdom bright and early at 8:15am. The park technically did not open until 9:00am, but they allowed everyone to walk to a midpoint area in the park where they had the paths to the right and left marked off until it was 9:00am.

Everyone that was there early waiting in front of the Tree of Life, which is a 145-foot sculpture of a tree. If you look very closely at the tree you see that carvings of animals make up the trunk. It truly is spectacular. The craziest part about it is that at night before the park closes there is a light show performed on the tree that is magnificent. The park is made up of 7 different areas including Oasis, Discovery Island, Pandora, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia, and DinoLand U.S.A. Sadly, whenever we were there last July, Pandora was not yet finished. Disney finished its construction on the area in September of 2016. It looks to be very fascinating, so I plan on making my way back there in the next couple years to check it out. Throughout the day we made our way to ever area. Our very first stop was in Discovery Island where I got a picture with the characters Dug and Russell from my favorite animated Disney movie, UP. In the picture above we have just finished the official wilderness explorer motto. I had a little too much fun with these two! It was a fun day, but if I had to choose my least favorite Disney park it would be Animal Kingdom. We finished meeting all the characters and all the activities in the park by 3:30pm. It took all day long to finish the other 3 parks, but there were a few more lines to wait in because there were more rides and shows. Speaking of lines, the longest we waited in a line for a ride all week was 45min. Other than that the lines flew by which was great! The only explanation I could come up with for the parks not being super packed like they were in say January when I was there for my college cheer nationals, is because of the heat. Families don’t want to have their children in the heat or put themselves in the situation of pushing a stroller all day long in 90 degree weather. SO YEAH. That was our day at Animal Kingdom. Short and sweet. Thanks for reading this week! I hope you all enjoyed reading about my days at the 4 Disney World parks. I really enjoyed getting to relive them by writing all about the days. Check out the link on Animal Kingdom HERE. I would definitely recommend planning out a vacation to Disney if you’ve never been. It truly is the happiest place on earth.

“Goodbye? Oh, no, please. Can’t we go back to page one and do it all over again?” -Winne the Pooh

Day 3- Hollywood Studios

On to day 3 at Walt Disney World!! Now, if you have been to Disney World in the past you may become a little confused whenever I tell you that I spent my third day at the park they call Hollywood Studios. The reason being the name of the park changed in 2008. On May 1, 1989, Disney-MGM Studios (Now Hollywood Studios) made its debut as the third theme park at Walt Disney World, Florida. I knew it as MGM Studios as I was growing up and still to this day find myself calling it MGM Studios. Personally, I hate that they renamed it Hollywood Studios due to the fact that Universal Studios is only 30min away. Universal Studios is not a Disney theme park, but I get the two mixed up all the time because their names are so similar. It can be annoying. Anyways, Hollywood Studios was a very entertaining park! The park is a movie-themed world. Everywhere you turn it’s a representation of a film soundstage or a scene from an iconic movie such as Jaws or Toy Story. The name change of the theme park was a surprise to the public because a name change to a Disney park had never taken place, but “as Meg Crofton, president of Walt Disney World, put it in the press release announcing the change: “The new name reflects how the park has grown from representing the golden age of movies to a celebration of the new entertainment that today’s Hollywood has to offer–in music, television, movies and theater.” You can read all about the name change HERE if you’re more interested. Our day at Hollywood Studios started a tad bit later than our 1st and 2nd days. The park opens at 9:00am and at that time we were getting on the bus at Fort Wilderness to head over to the park. I don’t know if I mentioned anything about the AC on the buses that took us to the parks, but WOW…..it felt like I was stepping into an ice box every time we got on the bus. I’m pretty positive I got goosebumps every single time we rode on the buses. We arrived at the park at around 9:30am. The day was full of musicals, 3D shows, and a couple rides. The very first thing I saw as we walked into the park was a giant area that reminded me of a film soundstage. As we walked on along my brother saw a sign stating that Stitch was going to be signing autographs and meeting fans at 9:45am. If you don’t know who Stitch is then you can just stop reading now. Hahahaha. Just Kidding.

 He’s a blue fluffy self-designed Alien that flew his little spaceship down from space to Hawaii and met his best friend Lilo. Stitch is my brothers all time favorite Disney character, so of course we had to wait in line to see him. As you can see in the pictures above, I was wearing a giant teacup hat with the statement “We’re all mad here” on it. The famous quote is said by the cheshire cat in the Disney movie Alice in Wonderland. In the second photo Stitch has actually taken my hat off of my head and started drinking out of it. I was seriously cracking up and this happened more than once with other characters that day! He was silly. I lost my voice on this wonderful day. I am proud to tell you all that I knew every single song in all the shows we saw and you bet your bottom I sang along as loud as I could. This park was all about live shows. It made it the most entertaining for sure. At one point we were walking towards the Disney’s Frozen live show and saw a poor little girl that looked to be about 5 years old dragged into a concrete pillar by her mother. We heard her nose crack as her face smashed into the concrete and saw blood pouring out of her nose instantly. It was an accident, but it was such an awful thing to have happen, especially when you’re at Disney World. We couldn’t stop talking about it all day long. The sound of her bone cracking lingered in my ears. This probably isn’t the best story to tell, but I can’t help it! It’s something that I will never forget. The very last stop of the day was in the Pixar section of the park. There is where we met Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

As you can see in the second picture, Woody was one of the other characters that took my hat and proceeded to drink out of it. The best part was that after he “finished drinking” he began to stumble around and couldn’t seem to find his footing. I guess the tea was spiked. Hollywood Studios was great and I woke up the next morning with a voice for park number 4! Check out more about Hollywood Studios HERE !

Thanks for reading!

“Ohana” means “family.” “Family” means “no one gets left behind.” -Lilo & Stitch

Day 2- Epcot

On our second day at the magical world of Disney we went to Epcot. This is definitely my 2nd favorite park. Also, I would consider it the most interesting and factual park. When I was little I always hated going to Epcot because it didn’t have all the fun rides like the other three do, but now that I am older and care about more than just the rides, I absolutely love it. I am planning on having my bachelorette party here whenever I get engaged, but that’s another story for a different time! SO….we started off the day at 9:00am (the time the park opened). We took a Disney shuttle from Fort Wilderness to Epcot, and let me tell you it was quick, easy, and we didn’t have to pay for parking. The shuttle dropped us off directly in front of the main gates. To get into the Epcot, likewise with the other parks, all we had to do was have our MagicBand scanned by a worker. About 3-4 years ago Disney came up with the idea of MagicBands. To fully cover what all they are used for and how handy they are I checked Disney’s website at Understanding MagicBands and read that “This colorful wristband is actually an all-in-one device that effortlessly connects you to all the vacation choices you made with My Disney Experience. Your MagicBand enables you to travel lighter throughout your vacation. Use it to enter the parks, unlock your Disney Resort hotel room and buy food and merchandise.” I personally think the best part of the MagicBands was that whenever any of my family got pictures with the Disney characters the professional photographer would scan one of our bands, so that when we got back to our RV we were able to get on our Disney account and look at the pictures they took. If you wanted to buy their photo package, which wasn’t expensive at all, you would then receive all the pictures that were taking of you at all the Disney parks! We went full out and bought the photo package and the food plan package. With the food package we were able to eat 3 meals and 2 snacks at each park, and let me tell you that is more than enough. Also, we were able to connect our credit cards to our MagicBands for any other amenities. With everything we needed connected to our MagicBands we didn’t have to worry about bringing money and credit cards to the park, which made it less stressful because we didn’t have to worry about dropping something or having anything stolen. Yes, people are evil and steal from others at the happiest place on Earth. That’s where Disney got the idea of villains, like Cruella de Vil who stole poor innocent puppies in the movie 101 Dalmatians. Don’t be a Cruella de Vil!! Anyways, that’s the scoop on the MagicBands. Totally check them out at the link I provided above. Once we entered Epcot I went directly to the info center to get a map of the park. On the map it had the times of every character meeting in every country. No, you did not read that wrong, I said country. One of the unique features of Epcot is that the park is made up of 11 different countries in one giant circle around a bright blue body of water. Epcot calls this the World Showcase. Now I’m sure you are all going to be very surprised by the information I’m about to reveal about my visit to Epcot (not really hahaha)……..I made sure to get a picture in every country, and visited a character in almost every one!! I will now give you a virtual tour via my pictures of the World Showcase at Disney’s Epcot.

1st stop: MEXICO ft. Donald Duck

2nd stop: NORWAY ft. Anna & Elsa

3rd stop: CHINA ft. Mulan

4th stop: GERMANY ft. Snow White

5th stop: Italy 

6th stop: USA ft. Dancing w/ Goofy

7th stop: Japan

8th stop: Morocco 

9th stop: France ft. Belle

10th stop: Canada ft. Pluto

11th stop: United Kingdom

I hope you all enjoyed my virtual tour! Alice in Wonderland was suppose to be in the United Kingdom (she is my favorite along with the Mad Hatter), but sadly it started to rain and there was no indoor area to meet with her. It was upsetting, but I am determined to meet with her the next time I visit! Going through all these pictures really make me miss it. After we finished touring the United Kingdom our day at Epcot was over. We left the park around 5:00pm and made it back to Fort Wilderness at about 5:30pm. Then we all had to change clothes and fix ourselves up in 20 minutes because we had reservations at 6:00pm at the Hoop-De-Doo musical dinner show at the campground. I was lucky enough to be one of 5 people chosen in the crowd to go up on stage with the cast and play a part in the musical! I put on a dress over my clothes and was given a couple lines and when to say them. I then was thrown out on the stage, did a little dance, said my lines, and took a bow. Overall, it was a fun packed LONG day. Make sure you check out the link below all about Epcot. The World Showcase awaits!

“There’s a great, big, beautiful tomorrow

Just a dream away.” –Carousel of Progress at Epcot

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/epcot/

Day 1- Magic Kingdom

Exactly one year ago from today I was down in Florida at Disney World with my family. My brother had just graduated from high school, so I talked my parents into taking one more Disney family vacation before he went off to college and was too cool to vacation at Disney World. We drove our RV down and stayed at the campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, where I would highly recommend staying if you own an RV or camper! There were buses and boats that took us to the Disney parks everyday. It was very convenient. Check it all out here at  Fort Wilderness. I have been to all the Disney parks countless times, but at the time I couldn’t remember the last time we went to all 4 on one vacation. While I was growing up my family and I would normally do two parks one year and then the next switch it up and do the other two. This then made my decision to make sure to spend an entire day at each Disney park; Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. The first day we spent at Magic Kingdom and I have to admit that this is my favorite of the 4 parks. Right as you enter the park you come up to a majestic train station, which will take you all around the park. If you arrive at the train station just before the park opens at 9:00am Mickey and his friends put on a welcome show for everyone waiting. Of course, I made sure to be there at 8:45am sharp to see the show! After the show ends and the main gates open for everyone to enter into the rest of the park you come up to Main Street. I absolutely love Main Street because cute shops and eateries are lined up down each side of the road. It almost feels as though you have been thrown back in time walking down it. On Main Street is where they have parades throughout the day full of your favorite Disney characters. The farther you walk down the street the closer you then get to Cinderella’s Castle. Cinderella’s Castle is located at the end of Main Street.

 

It’s a magical feeling to walk down Main Street and see Cinderella’s Castle become bigger and bigger until you are standing directly in front of it. I probably took 10 pictures or more posing by it. I could have stayed at the castle all day and stared in awe at it, but I had to make sure to get pictures with all my favorite characters! Before we even left for Florida I got the Disney World app on my phone. With this app I was able to track where all the characters were while I was at each park. It had meeting times and where exactly they would be. It was very helpful because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to find any characters without it. My brother and I rode every single ride at Magic Kingdom that day AND we met and got pictures with every character at each spotting on my app. It being the month of July I kind of thought that it would be very packed with people and we wouldn’t be able to do everything, but I was way wrong! The longest line we waited in was the Dwarf Mine Train roller coaster and it was an hour wait. Other than that we flew through all the other lines. It was a great experience. Now, Orlando, Florida is known for it’s off and on rain, so we did run into a hurricane (not really but it seriously seemed like it) for about 30 minutes, but other than that random spell it was bright and sunny all day. At 9:00pm that night (yes we have been at the park for 12 hours) we made sure to be back right in front of the Cinderella Castle to enjoy their fireworks show titled “Wishes.” Disney had been putting on “Wishes” ever since my first time at Magic Kingdom when I was 5 years old, and it was still just as magical. Back in May of this year I did hear news of a new fireworks show taking over titled “Happily Ever After.” At first I was very sad because I had grown up going to Magic Kingdom watching “Wishes,” but after much thought I have decided that I am intrigued and excited to see “Happily Ever After” my next visit! We ended the day back at the train station to meet and get pictures with the one and only Mickey Mouse. Unlike most of the characters that day, Mickey was able to talk. He did a magic trick for us and it was actually hilarious. Ending the day with a good laugh really made the experience even better (If that’s even possible).

Our first day was VERY well spent at Magic Kingdom! Check out the link below to read all about Magic Kingdom!! It will definitely cause you to start planning your Disney vacation. Thanks for reading!

“Remember you’re the one who can fill the world with sunshine.” –Snow White

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/magic-kingdom/