Spring Break 2015: DISNEY WORLD (Day 4 part 2)

Last time on Spring Break, I was traipsing around Disney World with my friends, having the time of my life dressed as Ariel, belly full from lunch at Be Our Guest, and ready for a jam-packed evening.

WARNING: This post can only be longer than the last post. If you skipped the last post to come straight here… that’s understandable. This post is both text-heavy and photo-heavy, you have been severely warned. If you think it’s painful to read then consider how much I delayed it because of how painful it was to write. You’re welcome. And also, I am terribly sorry. Looooooong post ahead!


Fresh off the high of finally being able to see the Festival of Fantasy parade, we skipped off to ride through a classic, Pirates of the Caribbean. I love the movies that drew inspiration from this ride and love thinking about how creatively the writers took a simple story ride and gave us the PotC movie franchise. (Sad that “We want the redhead!” doesn’t make it to the movies, though.)

Dead men tell no tales…
CAPTAIN JACK!

After hearing about how Annie had 7 the last time she went to Disney World, we went to Aloha Isle for the famous Dole Whip! It was pretty hot that day, so the pineapple soft serve really hit the spot. Dole Whip used to only be sold at Disney properties (Disneyland, Disney World, Disney’s Polynesian) and at Dole’s Hawaii pineapple plant, but there are a handful of other spots you can snag this pineapple-y treat. Even if you don’t love pineapple, it’s definitely worth trying because it doesn’t have the super sharp acidity makes folks like me uncomfortable after more than a few small pieces.

DOLE WHIP
DOLE WHIP

There was no line and it’s kind of nostalgic, so we also took a quick tour of the Swiss Family Treehouse, which is based on the old movie Swiss Family Robinson. I never saw this movie but my parents did, so I remember them taking me through it and explaining the rooms and the cool engineering. It’s a swanky treehouse, folks. If I was stranded on an island and had to live in this treehouse, I’d be pretty ecstatic. I worry that one day, this treehouse will be gone or rebranded for a newer Disney franchise (like it was at Disneyland), so I try to enjoy it while I can. Of course, we also checked out Haunted Mansion, which is a fun and spoopy ride and an okay movie-based-on-a-ride. The creepy factor is definitely turned up for this classic Disney ride, so keep that in mind if you are bringing along smaller children.

We really wanted to take it easy in the afternoon, because we had dinner reservations at 11PM. Yeah, we had a long day ahead of us. A lot of people don’t like what I call the story rides, where you sit in a moving vehicle (arms and legs inside at all times!) and experience the story of the movie by passing through. The old Snow White ride was a story ride before it was decommissioned and replaced with the Mine Train. (Replaced as in Mine Train is the park’s Snow White ride now.) We did Under the Sea in the morning (because LITTLE MERMAID DUH) and did The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh before heading to the classic (ultimate classic) It’s a Small World and all its Mary Blair-style splendor. Confession: I used to get quite scared on this ride because there are so many animatronic dolls staring at you…

One of the highlights of the evening wound up being Enchanted Tales with Belle. The wait was one of the shorter ones by this point in the afternoon and there was an opportunity to meet a character so I mean. Maurice’s cottage is adorable and filled with a lot of cute details. There is even a portrait of Belle with her mother, which is a real treat because her mother is not shown or really mentioned in any of the movies. But what made our excursion to Belle’s library afterwards (“Take me to the moment Belle and Beast fell in love!”) was the interactive part of telling that story. Belle came out to greet all of us and chose audience members to help reenact her love story.

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Guess what happened when she laid eyes on the Gaston in our group?

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Spring Break 2015: DISNEY WORLD (Day 4 part 1)

Last time on Spring Break, our crew drove left the island town of Key West and made way for the mainland, stopping to see gators and a friend in Sarasota before arriving in Orlando for the main event of our trip (for me, anyway) – a full day at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. 

WARNING: Long post ahead. Looooooong. You have been warned. We were at Disney World from open to close and I had a lot of feelings throughout the whole day. I was, needless to say, really psyched about it. Long post. Looooooooooong. End of warning.


I was the first person to wake up in our room, spring awake with my cell phone alarm because I. WAS. SO. READY. It took a little while to get everyone else to my energy level at 6 AM but come on, gang, Disney World!!! Specifically, Magic Kingdom, aka the most magical part of Disney World.

Of course, I was super stoked to put on my Ariel Disneybound for the day. The only thing better than having a really great Disneybound was that my whole group dressed for the occasion. It was maybe on of the greatest moments of my life? Having people share a common interest with me and who are willing to display it in public with me shouldn’t be so difficult for me, but it is, so it meant a lot to me that my friends would Disneybound with me.

Prince Eric, Ariel, Gaston, and Snow White
Prince Eric, Ariel, Gaston, and Snow White (aka Ben, me, Tim, and Annie) (also, it was not Tim and Annie’s first visit shhhh)

We got on the shuttle nice and early, with a whole bunch of kids and their parents. We weren’t the only folks dressed as characters, but the only other person our age was wearing one of Hot Topic’s options. Otherwise, it was mostly girls aged 3-9 wearing their Disney princess best.

Most of them stared at me shamelessly on the shuttle ride to the park. In fact, throughout the whole day, I was stared at a lot. I didn’t feel too self-conscious about it most of the day, as I was mostly glad that people were noticing how much work I put into the look, but sometimes I got weirded out and quickly scuttled out of view. (The wide-eyed stares of children are easy to get used to. The slack-jawed gawking of teens and parents… not so much.)

But one of the most fun things about Disneybounding is that it’s become a real community. A few guests stopped me to tell me they loved my Ariel Disneybound, and a lot of cast members (aka Disney employees) said the same as well. I also loved letting other people know that I liked their Disneybounds and seeing how glad they were to get the acknowledgement from a fellow Disnerd. Thanks, Leslie, for helping us achieve that moment.

Anyhow! We had a few scheduled activities for the days: lunch, dinner, fireworks shows and parades we wanted to see, and FastPass slots. FastPass is Disney’s system where you can select time slots and get in an express line for popular rides. It’s a great way for you to plan your day around certain must-see rides while really reducing how much time you spend waiting in line for those rides. (TL;DR If you visit a Disney park, definitely reserve your FastPass slots.)

ALSO I enjoyed using the new(ish) Magic Bands! These got rolled out a few years ago and their primary use for guests is that it’s their guest pass, as in it allows them into the park and onto the rides. (Otherwise, you use a card.) But, these do a lot more than serve as a wearable pass, and you can learn more about that at your own leisure, I won’t bore you here about it. BUT BASICALLY Mickey wristbands meant less fumbling with pockets for me and Annie!

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