Hello lovely internet! Long time no blog. I could make a lot of excuses as to why that’s the case, but instead I’ll just jump right back in (thanks to all the free time Winter Storm Jonas is giving me this weekend).
To be honest, this post has been sitting in my drafts since October, but for whatever reason I just never hit publish. I’m glad I wrote it when I did, because this trip already seems like it was a million years ago, and I’m also happy I’m publishing it now – because editing it this morning gave me some major Disney Magic that I desperately needed. So without further ado – let’s jump right in!
First off – in case you don’t know me in IRL, here’s some important trip background: I spent four days in Orlando in mid-October with my three best friends from my CP. Lauren and Alix and I flew down to visit our friend who is still a Cast Member, and if you couldn’t tell by the official trip hashtag used in the post title, things got a little crazy, in the best possible way. Here’s what you missed:
Friday: “On Fridays We Food & Wine”
Our first stop off the plane was EPCOT, because, well – it’s our favorite place on this spaceship we call Earth. We spent all afternoon in the park, and hit all of my favorite Food & Wine booths. If we’d made it back to EPCOT for a second day, we probably could have completed a full passport between the three of us, but alas – this wasn’t in the cards this trip (though I did complete one in a long weekend last year).
Saturday: “Have A Goodnight And Never Have Kids”
Saturday morning featured my triumphant return to the park I called home for six months during my College Program: Animal Kingdom. Although we didn’t actually visit the Jungle Trek, we did get the mojito’s from the Dawa Bar that sometimes are featured in my dreams, and we hit all the major attractions (while killing our Expedition Everest ride photo).
Saturday afternoon we headed to Hollywood Studios, and after a quick happy dance about the removal of that awful Sorcerers Hat, it was time for Star Tours, meeting Max Goof (which I fan girled HARD about), the Tower Of Terror, and the Prime Time Cafe bar. If you’ve never been to the Tune-In Lounge, I highly recommend it, if only for the people watching. While we sat and had a drink while waiting for Fantasmic, we had great chats with the waiters and bartenders, but mostly with drunk parents who confirmed what we already knew: that Walt Disney World with out kids can be just as fun as with them. As one particularly tipsy Mom said as she left the bar: “don’t have kids until you have to!”
As always, Fantasmic was fantastic, and a perfect end to a perfectly Disney filled day. (Hitting up Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster’s single rider line on the way out didn’t hurt either).
Sunday: “What Did The Vampire Say To The Invisible Man?” “Long Time No See!”
Sunday was full of new experiences and favorite traditions for me. We hit up Seaworld in the morning, and although I expected it to be less than thrilling, their roller coasters are not to be messed with. I also love most aquatic life, so getting to see turtles and manatees and penguins didn’t suck at all. What did suck was having to push Alix around in a wheelchair all day because her fankle (fake ankle) wasn’t letting her be very mobile, but hey – that’s what friends are for.
Sunday night saw the introduction of my co-worker Michael to our group, and my favorite Disney tradition: Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. I went dressed as Tina Belcher, and while many people didn’t get it, one very enthusiastic Cast Member made my night by yelling about it from across the parade route. I love everything about Not So Scary, and the addition of the Hocus Pocus show really threw it over the edge as my favorite Disney Park Event that isn’t Food and Wine. Also, meeting talking Mickey was even cooler than I thought it would be, if only because he told us the Dad joke that’s the title of this day.
Monday: “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
The Monday of this trip may actually go down as the best day of my life. And while I will probably be doing a whole other post on how important The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter is to any fan, let me just saw that Diagon Alley is truly a site to behold. After walking in and forgetting how to speak for a solid 10-15 a Butterbeer and shot of Firewhisky calmed myself and Lauren down enough to ride Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, as well as wander through every shop, and make a quick pop over to Hogsmede, which I’d already experienced during my College Program days.
While I didn’t end up buying the robe in the photo above, I did buy just about everything else I could get my hands on. The merch in Harry Potter World is truly top notch, and I walked out with a backpack, sweatshirt, Head Girl pin, and lanyard (all Ravenclaw, because you’ve got to show that house loyalty).
We did spend time in the rest of Universal as well, and as a huge Simpsons nerd, it’s always nice to get a Krusty Burger and beer at Moe’s tavern. While Walt Disney World will always hold a very special place in my heart, I did walk out of this trip with an annual pass to Universal, which I’ll be using on at least one or two more weekend trips before the year is up. Also, pro-tip: if you’re visiting Universal for more than one day, I highly recommend looking into the annual pass option. Lauren and I have already gotten our money’s worth, which brings me to the final day of the trip…
Tuesday: “See Ya Real Soon!”
Alix departed at the crack of dawn Tuesday, leaving Lauren, Michael and myself on our own. Michael wasn’t interested in paying another day of park admission, so while he went resort hopping Lauren and I went… back to Diagon Alley. As bummed as I am they didn’t have it open while I lived down there, I also think it would’ve made it way harder to leave Orlando, so I was happy to get one more morning (and some more shopping) in before we departed. Another Universal pro-tip: Uber is your friend. Lauren and I got to and from Disney property for under $20 a person, which is much cheaper than renting a car, or even using another taxi service.
After a Universal morning we headed to Disney Springs for lunch. We ended up with Oysters and tropical beverages on the patio at The Boathouse. We thought about renting an amphicar, but decided against it when we saw the price, and instead tipsy shopped at World Of Disney before it was time to catch The Magical Express.
Overall the trip was a raging success, although the parks did feel more crowded than they have in Octobers past (if anyone else went this year – did you get the same vibe?). You can check out more photos on Instagram, and if you have any questions or want any advice on any part of my trip please let me know!
…. Phew. I think that covers everything! If you made it to the end of this post, congrats to you! I love how I’m able to write 1,000 words about my trip to Orlando, but have a hard time composing a work e-mail.