Disney World 2013: Part 1

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A couple of weeks ago, Louis and I enjoyed our 4th trip together to Walt Disney World in Florida. As always, it was so fun and magical, and we enjoyed it during Christmas, which is always extra special. We flew out of Bergstrom Airport in Austin on December 3rd, which frustrated me because it was my first time to fly out of that airport, and I was no longer a Bergstrom! 😉 We ate Salt Lick BBQ while we waited for our flight, and I started rereading Mockingjay, while Louis began a recently purchased Ender’s Game. We also tried the Toy Story antibacterial hand sanitizer I purchased just for our trip, and unfortunately realized it smelled like garbage (literally, like a dumpster). Shame on you, Walgreens $1 shelf.IMG_1333A little after we tossed the hand sanitizer, we boarded our plane to head to Orlando! IMG_1335A few hours later we touched down in sunny, HOT Florida! We slipped on our Magic Bands that we had been selected to test and checked in to board our Magic Express to our hotel. (So much magic already…) We picked red and green Magic Bands to celebrate our Christmas trip!IMG_1336We were greeted by a beautiful Florida sunset on our trip to our resort! We checked in at Pop Century and quickly headed to Epcot. It was going to be open late, and we wanted to catch their amazing Christmas fireworks show: Holiday Illuminations.

IMG_1338Before we could get into the park, we had to upgrade our Disneyland Annual Passports to DISNEY PREMIER PASSPORTS. We are BIG TIME, y’all. Basically, this pass allows us to visit any of the Walt Disney World or Disneyland theme parks for a full calendar year. I feel stupidly honored to be this type of passholder. Disney Nerd Alert. (In case it wasn’t obvious yet.)

IMG_1340 IMG_1341Our first stop (after the obligatory entrance shot), was the newly redesigned Test Track. Well…new to us! I think it’s been remodeled for over a year now, but we were excited to try it out! The track is basically identical, but all of the inside elements were changed. It was a lot more modern, and lots of the special effects were really cool! IMG_1342 IMG_1343Our favorite part of the remodel was the ability to design your own vehicle to be tested through each of the trials during the ride. You get to pick everything from the design to the engine to the tires to the color! Louis obviously let me pick the color :). IMG_1344After Test Track, we realized it had been quite awhile since we ate lunch, so we headed to Mexico in the World Showcase to enjoy some “authentic” Mexican food. We ate at La Cantina de San Angel, which was PACKED, but we were able to snag a table right by the World Showcase Lagoon. I enjoyed some yummy nachos, and Louis chowed down on some beef tacos. IMG_1346After dinner we rode Maelstrom in Norway and decided to stake out a spot for Illuminations. During Christmastime, this is probably our favorite nighttime show at the parks. After the regular Illuminations show there is an incredible fireworks finale set to “Let There Be Peace On Earth” that drops our jaws every time. We love it so much we made a point to see it twice on our trip, so I’ll try to add a video in my next post about Epcot! IMG_1350 After Illuminations the park was clearing out, so we took a little bit of time to explore some of the empty showcase pavilions. We strolled around Morocco for a long time, and realized we have never noticed the beautiful architecture and details. Each of the countries represented in the showcase are fully or partially designed and funded by their respective country. Apparently, the KING of Morocco personally selected items and details to be part of the Morocco pavilion in Epcot! I’m not sure if that means there just isn’t much going on over there or if he’s super into Disney, but either way, their pavilion is beautiful! IMG_1351 IMG_1352We made a quick stop in Canada for some obligatory phone booth pictures as well. Apparently, you can actually call the phones in these booths, so if you’re ever lonely or want to check the weather at Epcot give them a ring.IMG_1363 IMG_1364 Each of the 4 parks has its own 65-foot Christmas tree full of lights and ornaments. Epcot’s tree had ornaments representing all of the countries and twinkly multi-colored lights!IMG_1371 IMG_1380

We were pretty pooped at this point from our long day of traveling, so we hopped on the bus back to our resort…sort of. Pop Century’s bus line was crazy long, so we took a bus to the adjoining Art of Animation Resort and simply walked from there back to our room. Aren’t we such savvy Disney travelers? 😉 The Art of Animation is a brand new value-level Disney resort, and it’s really fun! We loved the details and enjoyed exploring the resort as we strolled over to Pop Century.

IMG_3763We were, fittingly, assigned to the 1990’s section of Pop Century, and laughed at many of the pop culture references to the generation we grew up during. I snapped a picture of the stack of floppy disks, and we joked about how most kids these days only know floppy disks as “the save button.” They’ll probably never realize it was something we actually used to use! IMG_3764 We had 5 full days left of exploring the parks, so we quickly hit the hay! I can’t believe we packed so much fun into just a few hours at our first park! It was a great sign for the days to come…

Siggy Autumn

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