Disney World 2013: Part 4

headerWe woke up bright and early (surprise) and decided to spend the entire day at Epcot. We typically write off Epcot and think it’s boring because there are only a few rides there. However, we always read about people raving that Epcot is their favorite park and how there’s so much to do. We figured maybe we hadn’t been giving Epcot enough credit, so our goal was to really experience the park and try new things we hadn’t experienced! It was a PACKED day, so we spent lots of time strolling and admiring all of the unique scenes and experiences at our own pace.

One of our first stops was “Club Cool.” Coca Cola products are served at all of the Disney parks. At Club Cool, they offer free samples of Coca Cola products from around the world! We grabbed a few of the adorable tiny cups and got to tasting!ย IMG_1582 IMG_1583

Louis tried all 8, but I was too scared to try Beverly from Italy because I had read that it tasted like earwax…not worth the experience to me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Some of the others were really good like the Melon and Pineapple Fanta from Greece and Thailand. They were delicious, but way too sweet to enjoy with a meal, I thought. It was neat to see what other countries drink!ย IMG_1584

We had to snap some pictures in front of the gedesic dome of course! Or the “giant golfball” as most refer to it. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1586 IMG_1588 IMG_1591We strolled past the rose garden and decided to ride Journey Into Imagination with Figment since we’d never ridden it together, and Louis had never ridden it at all! I had him pose awkwardly in front of it because that’s just the kind of wife I am.

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After Figment we headed over to the Land Pavillion where Soarin’ and Living with the Land are housed along with some other attractions and restaurants. We had gotten a Fastpass+ for Living with the Land, which we joked about because there’s never a wait. Thank goodness we did! There was an hour wait! That should be proof of how packed it was at the park that day. We breezed through the Fastpass+ line and enjoyed the slow boat ride past 9-pound lemons (that Louis repeatedly asked me if I thought he could get or grow) and Mickey-shaped vegetables. It’s not a thrill ride by any means, but it’s one we always enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚

We skipped out on Soarin’ because it’s identical to the one in Disney California Adventure that we rode this summer and will ride again in a month! Also, the line was THREE HOURS LONG. No thanks. ๐Ÿ˜‰
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We did, however, stop at Sunshine Seasons for some lunch! We both got the Mongolian Beef, and I don’t think Louis has stopped raving about it since. That’s a miracle in itself because he is a lifelong Asian food hater. With our bellies full, we decided to wander over to Canada to start our journey around the World Showcase.ย 
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We stopped in Canada and saw Oh Canada! narrated by Martin Short. We always make it a point to admire their waterfalls there, too. So pretty!IMG_1599 IMG_1601

While on our way to next country, we ran into some familiar faces, so we stopped and snapped a couple of selfies…IMG_1603 IMG_1604 IMG_1605

Each pavilion is so unique and beautiful. If you can’t afford a trip around the world, Epcot is probably the next best option. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1607

Mary Poppins greeted us as we walked into the UK pavilion. Louis was excited to visit the Twinnigs Tea Shop because he’s been super into tea the past couple of years. We explored the shop looking at the various teas and beautiful tea sets.IMG_1608

As you can see by the Eiffel Tower in the background, France was next after the UK.IMG_1610

I shared our visit to Morocco in a previous post, but here’s a daytime shot of us in front of the entrance. It is a seriously beautiful area!IMG_1611

We strolled towards Japan where we were greeted by these AMAZING Japanese women playing the drums. The drums were huge, and the women were so talented. I wish I had taken a video! We also wandered through the Japan pavilion store where they had tons of adorable Japanese foods, clothes, and trinkets. I’m not sure how authentic any of it was, but it was very fun to peruse! Their tea sets were even more beautiful than the ones in the UK!IMG_1613

How could we journey around the world without visiting our wonderful home country?ย IMG_1623

We happened to arrive just in time to see the Voices of Liberty perform. They are a Dickens-style choral group, and they were AMAZING. Seriously, hearing them perform was one of the best experiences of our trip for me. They were insanely talented, and I can’t wait to see them next time we visit.
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By then, we were close to Italy and getting hungry after our world travels. We had reservations for dinner at Via Napoli, so we headed that way.IMG_1629

It was a beautiful night for a delicious pizza in Italy!IMG_1630

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One of the coolest thing about the World Showcase is that the castmembers in each pavilion are actually from the respective countries. It’s always fun to us to chat with them and ask about how similar the pavilions actually are to their homes. We had a super friendly waitress at Via Napoli from Italy, so we liked asking her about how authentic the food was.IMG_1640

Authentic or not, it was no doubt the best pizza either of us have ever eaten. It was soooo good. It looks gigantic, but it wasn’t THAT big. Haha, I mean, it was big enough that we weren’t able to finish it. And trust me…we tried!ย IMG_1642

The pizzas are cooked with flour imported all the way from Italy…maybe that’s why they’re so yummy! They are fired up in these three giant ovens, that cook them to perfection.IMG_1644 IMG_1645

We were definitely satisfied and will be making a trip back there next time for sure!IMG_1647

The entrance of Germany was marked by this adorable miniature town.
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They had different shops and restaurants in Germany as well as this Christmas shop with a Christmas tree full of pickle ornaments!IMG_1654

We also found this little Swarovski covered castle for $37,500 if anyone’s interested.ย IMG_1656

I loved the feel of the German pavilion! It was so pretty at dusk.IMG_1659

Karamell-Kรผche, which is full of amazingย Werther’s Caramel desserts, is also located in Germany. We didn’t splurge on a dessert because we were still so fun from our pizza, but we did indulge in a free sample of their fresh made caramel corn. OHMYGOSHYUM. It was just scrumptious.ย IMG_1660

From Germany we headed to China, where we saw Mulan and more beautiful tea sets as well as some authentic kimonos and samurai swords.

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I laid on the ground to get this picture, and it was totally not worth it. The ceiling was beautiful though. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1665

In front of China there is a little stand called the Joy of Tea. Here they serve various teas as well as Chinese snacks and slushes. Louis tried the Strawberry Oolong Tea Slush and was immediately hooked! I have to agree, it was delicious! Louis drank two back-to-back! Haha! He’s always saying how he wishes we had the recipe, so we could enjoy them at home!
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We headed to Mexico and went on the Gran Fiesta Tour featuring the Three Caballeros. It was a cute little boat ride that was a first for us, so we enjoyed it!IMG_1674

We grabbed an early spot for the Holiday Illuminations fireworks again because they’re our fave!ย IMG_1676

I included a video I captured of the finale…sorry it’s a little blurry and cuts out most of the action. ๐Ÿ™‚ I was watching the show myself instead of worrying about video quality obviously!

We decided to take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours afterwards and went on Test Track again. The car we designed performed excellently. ๐Ÿ™‚ We also decided to go on Spaceship Earth, which is the ride inside the giant golfball. Here’s a clip of what mine and Louis’s future looks like, according to the ride…

I know it sounds like all we did was eat at Epcot….which is kind of true. Haha! We really enjoyed exploring the shops and educational areas in each pavilion and learning about the different countries (that includes which foods they enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰ ). I’m so happy we gave Epcot a chance and spent time exploring the park. It was one of my favorite days of our trip because it gave us a chance to experience so many new things together! We’ll definitely be enjoying time in Epcot on future trips! ๐Ÿ™‚ With that we were halfway through our trip already! Isn’t it flying by? It felt like that to us too…

Siggy Autumn

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Disney World 2013: Part 3

headerOn December 5th, we woke up bright and early again and enjoyed another Pop Waffle and bacon. We were excited to head to Magic Kingdom for the first time since our arrival! We hopped on the first bus that arrived, but about halfway to the park we started to slow down. Our bus broke down! It’s the first time that’s ever happened to us, but I made sure to capture Louis’s reaction on camera.

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We only had to wait about 10 minutes before another bus pulled up finish our trip! We arrived and headed straight in to the Magic Kingdom! After being at Disneyland all summer, Cinderella Castle looked EXTRA grand and beautiful! For comparison, Sleeping Beauty Castle is 75 feet tall, and Cinderella Castle is 189 feet tall…

castles..obviously at over 100 feet taller, Disney World’s is a little more impressive! Both have a unique charm and appeal, though. ๐Ÿ™‚

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We stopped for a quick picture in front of the castle. The pole Louis is by below is where we stood to call our families after Louis proposed on Main Street 3 years ago! One thing that was a bit of a let down was that the ABC Christmas Day Parade was being filmed that week, so all of the Main Street Garland and giant Christmas tree were taken down for filming. Main Street and Magic Kingdom are beautiful either way, but those decorations are just another special thing about going during Christmas.IMG_1433IMG_1436 IMG_1438

We headed straight for Big Thunder Mountain because it’s one of the attractions we’ve been able to experience the least on previous trips due to refurbishments taking place. It was even more fun than we remembered, and we went on the ride it SEVERAL times during our trip!IMG_1440

Be Our Guest is a restaurant that is part of New Fantasyland, and it is based on Beast’s castle in Beauty and the Beast. They offer quick service lunch and table service dinner. By some miracle (okay, lots of time on Disney forums looking for canceled reservations), I was able to snag us a dinner reservation during our trip about a month before we left! I was hoping to try their lunch menu as well because they offer totally different foods and the experience is different. However, there are no lunch reservations and wait times can get up to 2-3 hours! Just to eat! We had written off enjoying lunch there, but on our 2nd day of the trip, I received an email asking if we’d like to try Be Our Guest’s new Fastpass+ system! We got to pick a time slot for lunch, show up during that window, and wait about 5 minutes before being welcomed in to the restaurant! I felt a little bad for the hundreds of people waiting to get in, but I’m so happy we were offered the opportunity. We couldn’t pass it up! I think Louis laughed at me for calling this an “opportunity.” It’s funny that I get so wrapped up in the Disney bubble, that I feel honored they “invited” me to spend more money at one of their restaurants! Haha! Regardless, after riding a few rides that morning, we strolled over to Be Our Guest and signed in with our confirmation number.ย IMG_1441

These giant statues and beautiful mural are the entrance to the castle at the end of a long bridge over a babbling brook. When you walk in for lunch you go down a hallway where suits of army are moving and talking just like during Belle’s castle tour during the movie!IMG_1447 IMG_1448

I HAD to sit in the Beast’s wingback chair in his study! Glad he didn’t get mad at me like he did Maurice.IMG_1450

After ordering (Carved Turkey Sandwich for me, Croque Monsieur for Louis), we wandered out of the study into the ballroom where my jaw dropped.IMG_1454 IMG_1456

I can’t lie…I definitely teared up a little! The scene was so picturesque and just like the movie! The imagineers did such a great job on this project! The chandeliers were so beautiful…the center one was over 12 feet tall!ย IMG_1462 IMG_1460 IMG_1470

There were so many details including these themed ornaments on the Christmas tree!ย IMG_1472

The frosted windows behind us looked out into the mountains and had snow falling behind them! So picturesque. Perhaps the best part of all was the Beauty and the Beast soundtrack was playing the entire time! Another neat thing was that we simply got our drinks and found our table and moments later our food was delivered to us on a covered cart by one of Beast’s “servants.” We were able to select any table, and they were able to find us thanks to our Magic Bands! The tables must have some sort of technology on them that allows them to sense our bands…very cool!ย IMG_1473

We chose to sit in the ballroom, but the Rose Gallery was another option. This room had portraits of Belle and Beast’s memories together, as well as a giant spinning music box Maurice gifted them.
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You could also sit in the West Wing, but didn’t explore that room until we returned for our dinner reservations! The food was delicious, the atmosphere was (LOUD, but) amazing, and the surroundings were beautiful! Definitely a MUST DO for anyone visiting the Magic Kingdom!IMG_1479

We were even able to finally get an acceptable Christmas card photo! ^^^IMG_1480 IMG_1482

This mosaic looks identical to the movie! Beauty & the Beast is my favorite Disney movie and one of my favorite movies PERIOD, so I was giddy pretty much the entire time!ย IMG_1485

Here is the view from the outside walking back up the bridge…you can see Beast’s castle in the distance! The entire landscaping and presentation around the castle were so beautiful, too. They created basically an entire forest and village around the entrance…so spectacular. After lunch, we stuck with the Beauty and the Beast theme and headed to Enchanted Tales with Belle. Side note: EVERY time I say that out loud it comes out “Enchanted tales with ‘bayle.'” And Louis laughs so hard at me. Every. Time.IMG_1492

The coolest part of this new attraction was the amazing technology! The idea is that you enter Maurice’s cottage and Beast has gifted him a magic portal he can use to visit Belle in the castle whenever he wants. The portal is this mirror that somehow transforms into a screen that somehow transforms into a door?! It’s impossible to describe, but it was incredible to see! The new animatronics in this attraction are incredible too! They were so smooth and realistic, I almost though they were real! Who am I kidding? They ARE real. Lumiere welcomed us into the library where we had story time with Belle. It was definitely geared more towards children, but it was still really neat.ย IMG_1496

We always love Philharmagic, so we swung by there right after Tales with Belle. It rarely ever has any wait time, which is crazy because we love it!IMG_1499

Louis is determined to pull the sword out one day, so we make sure to visit and try each trip.IMG_1500 IMG_1501

The front of the castle is beautiful, but I also love all of the windows and detail on the back!IMG_1502

Oh..uh…I also love the side apparently. ๐Ÿ™‚ Is there really a bad angle for this castle? I think not.IMG_1503 IMG_1508 IMG_1504

We hadn’t enjoyed any Mickey ice cream that trip, so Louis got a traditional Mickey bar and I got a Mickey ice cream sandwich and we munched on them during the afternoon parade in front of the castle. Are we cute or what? ๐Ÿ˜‰IMG_1514

For the first time this year, they added some holiday decorations to The Jungle Cruise and made it The JINGLE Cruise! The changes were cute, and we enjoyed our riverboat cruise through the jungle!
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We tried to make a point this trip to ride some attractions that we always deem a waste of time or skip over because they don’t seem interesting. One on our list this trip was Stitch’s Great Escape. Louis had never been on this ride, so we figured we’d give it a shot! We both sort of liked it, but I’m glad Louis got to try it!IMG_1519

Another of our favorite attractions is The PeopleMover. This ride is so relaxing, and it’s nice to sit and enjoy the breeze while you get glimpses of the park and Tomorrowland.IMG_1520 IMG_1521 IMG_1523

After riding several things in Tomorrowland, we realized it was time to get our wristbands for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. We’ve been to Disney World during Christmas before, but we’ve never splurged to attend the Christmas party. Yes, even as expensive as Disney is, there is an ADDITIONAL ticket you have to purchase to attend this Christmas party. If you’re at Disney the week of Christmas, some of the perks of the party are shown for free (Holiday Wishes, Christmas parade), but there are a few that are unique to the party. We try to make each trip special in its own way, so one of our “firsts” of this trip was attending the party!ย IMG_1526

The day of the party, you show your ticket for a wristband to wear around the park that night. That way it’s easier for castmembers to identify which guests should no longer be in the park. We lined up on the bridge by the rose garden to get our wristbands, and I think it was one of the longest lines we waited in our entire trip! At least the view was pretty…IMG_1527 IMG_1529

After we got our bands we waited around awkwardly until we could find someone to take our picture headed for more rides! Another “first” for this trip was riding Disney World’s Dumbo together! It was fun to ride it at night because the lights were beautiful!IMG_1530 IMG_1531 IMG_1536

We then wandered back over to New Fantasyland to explore Gaston’s Tavern, ride the Little Mermaid ride, and meet Princess Ariel.IMG_1542

“I use antlers in all of my deeeeecorating!”IMG_1541 IMG_1556

By the time we finished chatting with Ariel, the Christmas Party was in full swing! The crowds were cleared out significantly thanks to the $60+ tickets wristbands and castmembers, so we were able to enjoy everything! One perk was “free” snacks wherever there was a giant candy cane. They had snickerdoodles, apple juice, hot chocolate, and apple slices, and we made sure to enjoy them all.ย IMG_1557

Our first cup of apple juice (it was a little too warm for hot chocolate…though I did try some and it was delish!) with our snickerdoodles in the background! Louis was more excited, than he looks I promise.IMG_1558 IMG_1562

We wandered around enjoying the extra decorations and rode a couple of rides before we found a spot for the Christmas parade and fireworks. I didn’t get any good pictures of the parade, but here’s a great shot of the castle for you to enjoy. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1565 IMG_1569

 

I also took a short video of some of the Holiday Wishes fireworks. No one does fireworks like Disney, that’s for sure!

We waited for too long for a picture with the 7 dwarfs because they’re rarely all together out of the mines, but it turned out a little blurry. ๐Ÿ™ I am so excited because Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a new ride opening in 2014, and I can’t wait to try it! We could see a lot of the progress while we were at the park, and it looks super fun.IMG_1581

The rest of our evening was spent enjoying snacks, admiring the decor, loving the Christmas music, and riding some of our favorite attractions. I’d definitely encourage anyone who has considered attending Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party to go for it! The next time we’re there during the holidays, we’ll definitely be going!IMG_1578We spent the ENTIRE day in Magic Kingdom and never ran out of things to experience together! I don’t know if I can pick a favorite park, but I think the Magic Kingdom is definitely the most magical because of the ambience and nostalgia I always feel there. We were sad to leave that night, but we knew we’d be returning later in our trip!

Siggy AutumnP.S. Sorry this post is a billion years long. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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Disney World 2013: Part 2

Our first morning at Disney started bright and early when we headed to Animal Kingdom for rope drop. We rushed straight to Expedition Everest and rode it multiple times before there was any line! After we got our Everest fill, we headed over to Dinosaur and went on a prehistoric adventure back in tiiiiiiime. Eventually we made our way over to the Africa section of the park and enjoyed Kilimanjaro Safari.ย IMG_1387 IMG_1391

My goal this trip was to get a suitable picture for our 2013 Christmas card, so I couldn’t pass up a picture with Mickey and Minnie in holiday attire! (Side note: Please excuse my bizarre hair waves, untied shoelace, and the weird haze from a fingerprint on my camera lens. Needless to say, this was not our Christmas card photo.)IMG_1393

Already in picture taking mode, we snapped a few (of SEVERAL) shots in front of the Tree of Life.IMG_1396

We were getting hungry for lunch, so we headed to our FAVORITE quick service location in all of Walt Disney World: Flame Tree BBQ. Yum. I could eat their shredded BBQ pork sandwich everyday. The view’s not too bad either. ๐Ÿ™‚IMG_1399 IMG_1401 IMG_1402

After some Expedition Everest selfies we posed for a few more Tree of Life pictures sans Ray Bans..IMG_1403 IMG_1404 IMG_1405

If you remember from my last post, each park has its own themed 65-foot tree. Animal Kingdom’s had (SHOCKER) animal ornaments all over it. I snapped the shot below on our way out of the park for the day.IMG_1406

We left Animal Kingdom and arrived at Hollywood Studios, where I got a picture of their Christmas tree. Theirs has traditional holiday ornaments but a distinct film reel base.IMG_1407

We were excited to arrive because Hollywood Studios is one of our favorite Disney parks! It has several of our favorite rides that we were ready to enjoy!IMG_1408

We hit up Tower of Terror and Rockin’ Rollercoaster right away because those are two of our favorite (and some of the only) thill rides at Disney World! Also, we had used our Magic Bands to book some Fastpass+ passes for some attractions, so we were excited to use those.IMG_1409IMG_3790

We made sure to ride one of my favorite classics, The Great Movie Ride. I know it’s a little outdated, but I still love “being in the movies!” The Animation Academy is nearby, so we walked over there to get a picture with Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope Von Schweetz. Right before we took this picture, Ralph stepped on my foot, and was trying to apologize (which is difficult given the fact that he can’t talk or move his fingers). I told him it was okay since it’s his job to wreck everything, and he seemed to not feel as guilty.IMG_1411

Eventually we made our way over to The Backlot Tour. We wanted to make sure to ride it because there are rumors it will be torn down soon to make way for a Cars Land expansion similar to the one in Disney’s California Adventure. This ride is always a fun one, and one of the best parts is the exhibit at the end where they have movie props from over the years. I was SO excited this time because they had the traveling clothes and marionettes used by JULIE ANDREWS from THE SOUND OF MUSIC on display! I’m such a huge fan of Julie Andrews, so to see the actual props was very exciting for me! I’m sure Louis thought I was being ridiculous ๐Ÿ˜‰ I mean…I only stared at them for 15-20 minutes…it could have been a lot worse.IMG_3801IMG_3798ย When we left the Backlot Tour we ran into the one and only Goofy! He decided to dress up like Santa for Christmas, and we couldn’t resist taking a picture with him. Well…I’m sure Louis could have resisted, but I couldn’t ๐Ÿ™‚

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We were able to use our Fastpass+ passes to bypass the 2-3 hour wait for Toy Story and get on Louis’s favorite ride. My score wasn’t too great, but Louis’s was super high as always! Once it finally got dark, we worked our way over to The Osbourne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights! No, not THAT Osbourne family. The father of THIS Osbourne family doesn’t need subtitles when he talksย set up a Christmas light display for his daughter several years ago at their home, and it just kept growing. Eventually it go so large that families were trying to sue them for the congestion on their street and the (obviously) bright lights. Finally, Disney stepped in and the entire display was moved to Hollywood Studios and has grown even more over the years! There are millions of lights that are synced up to Christmas songs, and it miraculously “snows” in Florida! It’s definitely a beautiful sight to see!IMG_1416 IMG_1417 IMG_1418 IMG_1419 IMG_1420 IMG_1422 IMG_1424We had a great time enjoying the lights, but it was PACKED, so we didn’t linger over there too long. The rest of our time at Hollywood Studios included more of our favorite rides before we closed down the park. The bus lines were crazy again, so we hopped on another Art of Animation bus. While there we grabbed a snack in their amazing food court to enjoy on our way back to the hotel. I got a chocolate chip cookie and 1 liter of bottled water (even in December the Florida sun can drain you!), and Louis got a beautiful vanilla cupcake!
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It was another successful, exhausting day in the parks. I know the clock in the picture above only says 8:30, but when you wake up at 6:00 AM (5:00 AM Texas-time), and spend all day power-walking 10-20 miles to get to all your favorite attractions in the Florida sun you get drained fast! And this was only our first full day! We still had lots of fun to come ๐Ÿ™‚

Siggy Autumn

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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! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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!ย 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!ย 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 :).ย 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.ย 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!ย 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!ย 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? ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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!ย IMG_3764ย 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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Our Disney Adventures Through the Years

Anyone who knows me (and probably some who don’t) knows of my love for Disney. Specifically…Walt Disney World. I never get tired of reading about it, looking at pictures of it, and most importantly visiting it. Anyone who knows my sweet husband would probably assume he’s not a Disney fanatic like myself. How wrong they would be.

When Louis and I were going into our sophomore year at Texas A&M, we came up with the crazy idea of taking a trip to Walt Disney World together. Going in, I’m sure Louis was annoyed to be spending thousands of dollars to be going to (at the time) what he thought of as a children’s theme park. Fast forward 4 years and 3 trips later, he understands the magic. ๐Ÿ™‚

Moments into our first trip Louis was as hooked as I had been since my first trip as a 4-year old. Since that trip, Louis surprised me with a trip in 2010 for the most romantic proposal ever imagined, and we returned for our honeymoon in 2012. It’s only been 11 months since we were there, but I’m having serious withdrawals. Watching Disney classics, listening to Disney music, and planning dream trips (“Babe…I got it down to $3000 not including food and souvenirs!”), just don’t fill the void like a trip does. Tonight, I sat down and looked through our 797 (literally) Disney trip pictures. I decided to do a little compilation of some similar pictures from each of our 3 trips. Enjoy!

Airport Terminal 2008-Louis' 1st trip!
Airport Terminal 2008-Louis’ 1st trip!
Airport Terminal 2010-I was running on ZERO hours of sleep after Louis surprised me with the trip!
Airport Terminal 2010-I was running on ZERO hours of sleep after Louis surprised me with the trip!
Airport Terminal 2012-Hours after our wedding!
Airport Terminal 2012-Hours after our wedding!
Animal Kingdom in 2008
Animal Kingdom in 2008
Animal Kingdom in 2012
Animal Kingdom in 2012
Tree of Life 2008
Tree of Life 2008
Tree of Life 2010
Tree of Life 2010
Tree of Life 2012
Tree of Life 2012
Magical Express 2008
Magical Express 2008
Magical Express 2010
Magical Express 2010
Magical Express 2010 #2...heading back to the airport!
Magical Express 2010 #2…heading back to the airport!
Magic Express 2012 - Leaving Walt Disney World until our next trip!
Magical Express 2012 – Leaving Walt Disney World until our next trip!
Meeting the stars of cars in 2010
Meeting the stars of Cars in 2010
Meeting up again in 2012
Meeting up again in 2012
Cinderella Castle 2008
Cinderella Castle 2008
Cinderella Castle 2010
Cinderella Castle 2010
Cinderella Castle 2010 #2...moments before Louis proposed! (Check him out clutching the ring box in his pocket!)
Cinderella Castle 2010 #2…moments before Louis proposed! (Check him out clutching the ring box in his pocket!…Also please note that Louis is wearing the same shirt to propose that he wore on our 1st trip in 2008.)
Dinosaur 2010
Dinosaur 2010
Dinosaur 2012
Dinosaur 2012
Expedition Everest 2008
Expedition Everest 2008
Expedition Everest 2010
Expedition Everest 2010
Expedition Everest 2012
Expedition Everest 2012
On Expedition Everest in 2008
On Expedition Everest in 2008
Post Expedition Everest in 2012
Post Expedition Everest in 2012
Epcot 2008
EPCOT 2008
Epcot 2010
EPCOT 2010
Epcot 2012 during the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival!
EPCOT 2012 during the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival!
Hollywood Studios 2008 - Our favorite park!
Hollywood Studios 2008 – Our favorite park!
Hollywood Studios 2010
Hollywood Studios 2010
Hollywood Studios 2012
Hollywood Studios 2012
Hollywood Studios 2012 #2
Hollywood Studios 2012 #2
Louis in front of Cinderella Castle in 2008 - he looks SO young!
Louis in front of Cinderella Castle in 2008 – he looks SO young!
Louis in front of Cinderella Castle in 2010 - All grown up :)
Louis in front of Cinderella Castle in 2010 – All grown up ๐Ÿ™‚
Louis in front of Cinderella Castle in 2012
Louis in front of Cinderella Castle in 2012
With the Big Cheese in 2008
With the Big Cheese in 2008
Meeting up with Sorcerer Mickey again in 2012
Meeting up with Sorcerer Mickey again in 2012
Entering Magic Kingdom in 2008 - Louis had no idea what he was in for!
Entering Magic Kingdom in 2008 – Louis had no idea what he was in for!
Magic Kingdom Entrance in 2010
Magic Kingdom Entrance in 2010
With Peter Pan in 2008
With Peter Pan in 2008
Ran into Peter again in 2010
Ran into Peter again in 2010
On the plane in 2008!
On the plane in 2008!
Plane in 2010
Flying home to show off my engagement ring in 2010
Plane in 2012
On the plane after a LONG wedding day in 2012
Rocking ponchos in 2008
Rocking ponchos in 2008 (a necessity for Splash Mountain)
Ponchos are still essential in 2012
Ponchos are still essential in 2012 (for rainy days around Hollywood Studios!)
Rockin' Rollercoaster in 2008
Rockin’ Rollercoaster in 2008
Still Rockin' in 2012
Still Rockin’ in 2012 (in almost the exact same spot 4 years later!)
Magic Kingdom love in 2010
Magic Kingdom love in 2010 (the trip where I tried to show off my engagement ring in every picture…)
Still in love in 2012!
Still in love in 2012!
Tower of Terror Line 2008
Tower of Terror Line 2008
Tower of Terror Line 2010
Tower of Terror Line 2010
Tower of Terror Line 2012 - still one of our favorite rides!
Tower of Terror Line 2012 – still one of our favorite rides!
Mr. Potato Head in 2008 at Midway Mania, Louis's favorite ride!
Mr. Potato Head in 2008 at Midway Mania, Louis’s favorite ride!
Mr. Potato Head in 2010
Mr. Potato Head in 2010
Mr. Potato Head in 2012...still Lou's fave!
Mr. Potato Head in 2012…still Lou’s fave!
Waffles 2008 - Our #1 Breakfast choice!
Waffles 2008 – Our #1 Breakfast choice! (POP waffles for our resort…Pop Century!)
Waffle 2010
Waffle 2010
Waffle 2012 - It's not a Disney trip without Mickey waffles!
Waffles 2012 – It’s not a Disney trip without Mickey waffles!
Buzz & Woody in 2008
Buzz & Woody in 2008 (this picture was early proof of how much Louis loved loves me)
Buzz & Woody in 2012
Buzz & Woody in 2012 (I think Woody got taller? Didn’t know toys grew! Disney Magic I guess…)

It’s so fun looking back through these and reminiscing on all of our memories. We are pretty happy people, but we are never happier than when we’re at Walt Disney World! Hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane, and I hope I have more recent Disney pictures to post soon!

Until then,

I hope all your wishes come true!
I hope all your wishes come true!

CoralSiggy

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