There is only one thing that can make “The Happiest Place On Earth” happier…Christmas! Last week I was in Orlando, FL for my Irish Dance regional competition. The competition started Friday, but I arrived Wednesday so that I could get some extra time with my best friend Regan. We went to Disney and did four parks in one day which could have been a terrible idea, but we planned it perfectly and got just the right amount of time in each park.
The Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom is by far my favorite Disney park. From Cinderella’s magical castle to Mickey shaped ice cream, it just doesn’t get much better than that! Getting to go to the happiest place on earth with my best friend on earth was something so special to me and I’ll never forget it! Like I said, Christmas time in Disney makes it extra magical. The decor and Disney themed holiday music playing throughout the day made everything so festive. A massive Christmas tree stood invitingly at the entrance of the park, twinkle lights covered the castle from top to bottom, Main Street USA was decked out in evergreen streamers, and green and red wreaths hung from anywhere they would fit.I have been to Disney once before, but the second time was even more magical than the first. As a kid I was obsessed with all things Disney princess and basically anything to do with fantasy and magic. To be honest, I still am, so Magic Kingdom brings that all to life for me, and I love it! We were extremely lucky to be there on a day when there were hardly any lines, giving us the chance to fit in almost all our favorite rides which were so fun.
Maybe this is odd, but whenever I go somewhere I think of all the potential for good photos. I know people always say “put down your phone/camera and live in the moment,” but to me taking pictures is part of living in the moment. I love looking back at photos and being able to travel back to that day in the same way a scent or song brings you back to a special moment in your life. I’m far from being a professional photographer, but I have always loved taking pictures and making them creative and artsy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about experiencing life through your own eyes and not getting caught up watching it through a screen or lense. I try my best to take the pictures I want and then put my phone away so I can focus on the experience and soak in everything around me. I definitely have a ways to go, but I’m getting there! I hope you enjoy some of the snapshots I got of my day at Disney.
The only thing we didn’t see in Magic Kingdom that I wish we had were the live characters. During the holidays, there’s never very many Disney characters around due to “Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party.” I think they come out more then, but you have to have a special ticket to go to that. Meeting the characters has always been important to me because Disney World was somewhere I always dreamed of going when I was younger. Sometimes I really miss being a little girl lost in her own world of magic and fantasy, but going to Disney allows me to be that kid again for a day! It’s a bit of a let down that both times I’ve been to Disney I didn’t get to experience seeing anyone, especially Peter Pan. If you know me, you know I’m a little obsessed with Peter Pan and I’ve always wanted to see him at Disney. The first time I went, I was crushed that I didn’t see him, and it ruined my day… this time I didn’t let it get to me because I was just happy to be there. If you ARE going to Disney in expectation of seeing the characters, I recommend going at a different time than early December.
We rode the most rides at Magic Kingdom so I’m going to try to rank and briefly describe them for you. I’ve put them in order of my most favorite to least.
Splash Mountain – By far my favorite because… it is Brer Rabbit themed and as a kid I loved reading the book and watching the movie of Brer Rabbit with all his adventures and crazy tricks. I loved the music that they play on the ride which brings it all to life. Also, it’s a water ride with a huge drop and splash at the end making it thrilling and a great way to cool off from the Florida heat.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Um… Toy Story, Hello?! Plus you get to play a game while riding so obviously that just makes it even more entertaining. It’s very interactive, especially if you’re riding/playing with someone who is competitive!
Space Mountain – Space Mountain really does feel like an adventure through space with eerie music, stars seemingly floating by, and aliens watching as you soar through “space”. Being a pitch black ride gives way to many unknowns which adds that extra bit of excitement. It’s also a fast ride with lots of hills, twists, turns, and unexpected drops, so it’s a must for me!
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – This one is a more thrilling roller coaster! It takes you through mountain ranges and mines. You can see a lot of the park as the coaster cars climb to the top and then coast down the hill. Overall, it’s a great experience and I definitely recommend this ride.
Pirates of the Caribbean – This is one of my favorite movies, so of course I love the ride. It’s not super exciting but it’s fun to see all the characters and listen to the songs! I’d say, if you’re not someone who loves these movies then you will probably want to hold off on this one till you’ve done some of the more exciting rides. I really enjoy it because I can sing along and feel like I’m in the movie. One thing that I always forget, but find really interesting is that the Pirates of the Caribbean movies were actually inspired by this ride and not the other way around. Disney definitely did an amazing job creating what they did off of this short ten minute amusement park attraction.
I really wanted to ride Peter Pan’s flight as well, but apparently, the kids LOVE that one because the whole day the wait was at least two hours and no ride is worth that amount of waiting. Those are all the rides we went on; they made for a really enjoyable time at Magic Kingdom.
As we walked out of the park we saw the end of a parade with some characters so I got a glance at a few at least, lol!
Let’s be honest, I only like this park for the Tower of Terror and Rockin Rollercoaster (which we didn’t get to ride due to it having technical difficulties). By the time we got there it was pretty hot outside of the shade, and I was extremely hungry. We found somewhere to eat. Of course, the only place that you didn’t need reservations was overpriced for mediocre food but we were starved so we took what we could get. Aside from that, Hollywood Studios is set up really adorable and unique; it reminds me of La La Land! It’s like walking through a 1950’s movie set in Hollywood with filming studios, theaters, Disney themed window displays, and palm trees lining the streets. All of this sits like a photograph in front of the enormous Hollywood Hotel looming in the distance.
They definitely did an amazing job making you feel as if you’re walking the streets of Hollywood, California and not Orlando, Florida. The Tower of Terror was actually not as scary and stomach dropping as I remember it; Regan and her mom said the same. However, it was still my favorite ride of all the parks. It’s one of those signature rides of Disney and Hollywood Studios, but honestly I think it deserves all the hype it gets.
I’m just going to add some extra pics from this park down below!
The Animal Kingdom isn’t necessarily the best park for pictures, so I really don’t have many from there, but I do have an entertaining story. We didn’t do much except ride two rides since the lines over an hour each by the time we got there. During our extremely long wait on line for Expedition Everest, two younger guys stood in front of us. At first we thought they were with a big group, but after a while we realized it was just the two of them. They weren’t both the problem though. The younger of the two decided that it would be fun to find an attractive girl or two, and stare them down over the course of the next hour. Regan and I were the unlucky winners of his staring game. The first time I noticed his wistful gaze I had just been looking around at my surroundings. I happened to make eye contact and it was so uncomfortable that I spun around, lowered my head, and grabbed Regan. I made a weird face at her and motioned towards him with my eyes. She and Michelle (her mom) had already noticed. This was only about ten minutes into our wait. We hoped that would be the extent of his staring… it wasn’t. No matter how much we ignored him and showed how uncomfortable we were, his hungry eyes never took a break. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more naked while completely dressed. It was like being in a dream where you walk out in public completely undressed and can’t do anything about it. After a while Regan and I just started watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S on my phone in an attempt to forget he was there and distract ourselves, but it only partly helped.
The longer this went on, the more uneasy we got. At one point Regan wanted to call security, but we were so close to the end of the line we just waited. We were very vocal about the situation and the people behind us began to catch on. We couldn’t stop laughing about how awkward and anxious we felt. If he had glanced at us only once in a while, it still would’ve been uncomfortable, but the fact that he had no problem gazing at us lustfully for an hour was just excruciating. A few times we gave him the benefit of the doubt saying maybe he had a medical problem and just couldn’t help it. He didn’t look in any way like he had any problems though so we concluded that he was simply a pervert. We thought about switching places in line with the people behind us, but like I said they had caught on to the situation and when we started talking about it, it was obvious they weren’t into that. Luckily Regan and I were not alone or we probably would’ve called security, but we did have Michelle! She tried to get him to stop staring multiple times by staring back and giving him all the dirty looks. We even attempted to video him and make him feel uncomfortable, but he never caught on.
When we finally reached got on the ride, Regan tricked me into sitting in the seat diagonally behind him so that if he turned his head he would see me and not her lol. He did once, but then surprisingly paid attention to the ride as Regan and I laughed more about how uncomfortable the past hour had been. We bolted as soon as we got off the ride and didn’t stop running until we were far away. When we did stop, Michelle told us to keep running so we ran all the way to our next ride. We thought we were safe until he appeared again on the Dinosaur ride line where we were! Luckily, he was in the fast pass lane, and when he walked by, Regan and I turned our backs and pretended to be interested in whatever was on the wall. We all agreed that we would probably be having bad dreams about him. It was a really awkward and creepy experience but we’ll probably laugh about it for a long time.
See, not many pictures, but hopefully the story made up for that! After the Dinosaur ride, we left the park and brought Regan to the competition hotel so she could practice someone’s makeup while we changed and rested before we headed to Epcot for dinner!
When I think Epcot, I think giant golf ball. I mean really, that’s what it looks like… I still don’t know if it’s supposed to be a giant golf ball, but it definitely is one. Anyways, Epcot is probably my second favorite park. I have never been in the daytime, but I love that it has all different countries in the world. I think it’s such a cool concept. We got to Epcot around 7:00 P.M. and had a dinner reservation for 9:30 so we rode some rides till then. I don’t remember what the name of the first one we rode was, but you made a car design and then rode the ride and it tested how good your car was. It was fun but not worth the hour and a half wait. When we got in line it said thirty minutes and then about ten minutes in it changed to an hour and a half…go figure. All three of us were exhausted, our feet and legs hurt from walking and standing all day, and we were just ready to be done. Then we saw the creep again, but he was in the fast pass line, so thankfully we only had to watch him pass by!
When we got through the line and off the ride, we walked through the countries and rode a Mexican boat ride in Mexico. It was a nice break cause we could just sit, relax, and watch the sweet caricatures on the ride. After this, we only had a short wait for our reservation so we walked to Italy and found our restaurant. It was called Tutto Italia, the whole atmosphere made it feel like we were actually in Italy. It helped that our waiter was Italian. He reminded me of the chef in Ratatouille, Auguste Gusteau, that Remy is obsessed with. The food was also delicious; I definitely recommend going there if you are in Epcot and love Italian food! All the waiters were Italian, in other words, EXTREMELY hot, but one of them was extra blessed with the good looks. Regan kept pointing him out to Michelle and me (lol). Not gonna lie, it definitely made dinner that much more enjoyable, haha! After dinner, we were all ready to for the day to be done. We walked out of the park as the fireworks boomed overhead, stopping every once in a while to watch them. The Epcot firework show is by far the best I have ever experienced! There was a couple who had apparently just gotten married there. We saw them standing on a bridge in their wedding attire as they watched fireworks and got their pictures taken. It was sweet; I wouldn’t personally choose to get married in such a public place, but I can see Disney being appealing for some.
Well, that’s four parks done and dusted! It was definitely a fun and magical day. Going with my best friend made it ten times better, and I’ll never forget this day! Any day filled with jokes, laughter, joy, good stories, and magic is a good day in my book. Disney IS extremely overpriced, I have to be honest, but I definitely recommend going at least once in your life. If you have a choice between going to only one park, I would definitely say to pick Magic Kingdom in a heartbeat. It is by far the best of all of them!
I hope you guys enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to post and I did feel kind of bad, but my life is a constant whirlwind and I started this to have fun with it so letting it stress me out is stupid. I don’t want to feel bad when I can’t post as much as I “should” or want to. I want to post good content and if that means it will take a little longer, than that’s what I’ll do. No more saying sorry or feeling bad, because that would defeat the purpose of me doing this for fun right? Thank you all so much for reading. If you want to get notified of all future posts please follow me and share with your friends!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, I’ll see you in my next post!