Adventures: When in Disney World

My best friend and I did our typical best friend thing about a month ago and visited Orlando, Florida, and the four main Disney theme parks there. This was her first-ever Disney experience, and my first time to Disney World.

If you’re wondering, the end of May was a decent time to go; right before Memorial Day weekend craziness. Don’t kid yourself, though. The humidity is probably always disgusting, so you’ll never be able to avoid it. If I hadn’t been on a caffeine and adrenaline high all week I would have been paying attention to how miserable I really was.

Also, add a few thousand people and their body odor to the mix, and you’re guaranteed to wrinkle your nose a few times. But you’ll get over it. Because if you’re an unhappy person at the happiest place on earth, you may need to rethink your life…

I figure bullet points are the easiest to follow, so I’ve only included the personal favorite memories and highlights from the vacation.

Of course there are many more, but this isn’t meant to be a detailed re-telling, nor is it geared toward an informative “best things to do at Disney” advice post. These are my pictures and my journal moments. Enjoy 🙂

Day One: Epcot

  • Barista wrote “Princess” before each of our names on our Starbucks frappuccino cups
  • Received special treatment and acknowledgement with our Happy Birthday and First Visit pins
  • Got a selfie with Aladdin hiding behind us while we were waiting in line for a portrait with him and Jasmine
  • Dressed in Belle colors, and she told me she loved my hair bow (score)
  • Super cool Disney topiary placements everywhere in the park for the flower and garden festival ending that week
  • Walked about a mile from Epcot to Hollywood Studios just to see the 5 minute Symphony In the Stars firework show before the park closed–worth it.

Day Two: Magic Kingdom 
  • Best part: watching Emily’s reaction as we got closer to the castle down Main Street
  • Got plenty of compliments for our Ariel and Ursula Disney Bound outfits
  • Ate delicious gluten free chicken fingers at Pinocchio’s Village Haus
  • Finally got to ride the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train at night
  • Emily lost her voice (on the above ride)
  • Watched “Nighttime Wishes” fireworks between the back of Cinderella’s Castle and the gates that lead to Be Our Guest (Beast’s Castle), with our heads on a swivel as the colors exploded all around and above us

Day Three: Cocoa Beach 
  • Slept in, stretched extensively, and massaged our sore feet #noregrets
  • Took the long way because we were avoiding tolls–ended up being wonderful backcountry
  • Swam in the waves, napped on the sand
  • What can I say? Less is sometimes more 🙂
Day Four: Hollywood Studios

  • Group of 3 grown men sang their hearts out behind us at Beauty and the Beast LIVE; quite entertaining, and impressive
  • Met, and HUGGED, Chewbacca
  • Wore my R2D2 hair bow with pride
  • A cool dad wearing a Star Wars shirt sat by me for Rockin Roller Coaster
  • Cutest little boy ever shyly stole glances and watched us more than he watched the Frozen Sing-a-long show
  • An awesome family of 3 randomly selected us to use their FastPass+ for Toy Story Mania when there was a 60 minute wait time
  • Fantasmic = best end to the day
Day Five: Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

  • Made Grumpy Cat faces at the cameras on two different rides
  • Made Em laugh the hardest she’s laughed in a long time while riding the Primeval Twirl 
  • Annabelle let me carry and hold her, and then she whispered “you hold like you’re older than Aunt Emily” (whatever that meant)
  • Saw new animals carved into the Tree of Life every time we passed it
  • Old school photo booth picture in DinoLand USA
  • Older guys giggled and screeched the entire DINOSAUR ride
  • A couple finally recognized and complimented my “Oo-de-lally” shirt and Robin Hood hair bow and made my week

Day Six: Clearwater Beach 
  • Sugar-like sand that didn’t stay stuck or turn our feet black
  • Pistachio and coconut ice cream
  • Emily bought her first, very own beach towel
Conclusion of Highlights: 
  • Emily’s page-long, running list of hashtags
  • Should have taken note how many times we were asked if we were sisters, or even twins
  • Accidentally blew through a toll station because we didn’t know how it worked (such rebels, much oops)
  • Posing and hiding our Baymax and Chewbacca keychains in pictures
  • Getting signatures from characters every day
  • Making goat screams randomly during rides (if you don’t know what those are, Youtube will be happy to educate you here)
  • All the people we met and chatted with every day
  • All the screaming or exhausted children we witnessed (and laughed at) each day
  • Not once did we get lost
  • Besides our last day, we hardly experienced any major traffic during the week
  • The two amazing homes we stayed in, and the sweet, hospitable saints that genuinely cared about us
  • Got more steps in than I did on a 12 mile hike into the Grand Canyon at the beginning of May–definitely met my 10K per day quota


P.S: I thought about not posting this, in light of all the conflict and controversy around Orlando lately. But, I had a great time. And although I am generally quite a sensitive person, I would rather recap the trip now, highlighting the good that is still possible in the midst of sad events, than to put it off for months.

Just wanted to clear that up 🙂