Tag Archives: vacation

Day 5, Part 2- Hollywood Studios, and Epcot Ending

Ok so last post we left off at just getting to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We were both exhausted by the time we got there so we decided we were just going to do things that were must sees/dos on our list and we both decided we wanted our last few hours at Disney World to be in Epcot.

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Elsa and Anna topiaries.

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We wanted to cool off for a second so we headed over to The Trolley Car Café which is the Starbucks located on Hollywood Blvd in the park.

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We got a couple of smart waters which we realized helped us feel much better with the excess heat and humidity (of course we learn that at the end of the trip but oh well!) I had to grab a Jabba the Hut cupcake too. It was quite good.  The Jabba on top of the cupcake is white chocolate, which isn’t my favorite thing in the world so I think I took a bite and tossed the rest. I’d rather just have the cake part of a cupcake. I’m that weird person!

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We decided there were really only a couple of things we wanted to do, the Great Movie Ride, and the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream show and they were both at the end of the street so we headed to The Great Movie Ride first.

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Having seen the outside of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in LA, the building looks the same.  Just different signatures in the cement!

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The inside was lovely.

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We enjoyed the ride very much.

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Then off to see One Man’s Dream.  I was really glad we got to see this because apparently we are closing it.

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There is a small museum in the lobby area for the show.

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I know ours is smaller but I love our castle better.

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IMG_1218 I would have loved to have been able to see the Tower of the Four Winds.  It looks so cool! Unfortunately they tossed the parts into the Hudson River (don’t quote me on that… it also could have been the Atlantic Ocean too) after the 1964 World’s Fair…

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Cinderella Castle.

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Another bucket list item for me is to go to Disneyland Paris.

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Explorer’s Landing Fortress in Tokyo Disney Sea. That would be an amazing to see!

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After getting a cool break in both attractions we made our way back (I know we missed out on a lot but we were tired and really wanted to end our trip in Epcot). We stopped quick in the Disney & Co store to get a pin and take a quick look.

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We were smart this time around and went back on the boat.  Much much quicker!

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With beautiful views of the Boardwalk.

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My aunt and I both love Chinese food and we wanted to have a nice sit down dinner so we decided to check out the China Pavilion.

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There wasn’t a wait at the Nine Dragons Restaurant so we gave it a shot.

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I definitely need to come back to Disney World because there is so much we missed!

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We shared the pot stickers.

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Don’t ask me why but I opted for the sweet and sour pork.  It was very good but I should have been a little more adventurous.

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My aunt got the Honey chicken which was A-MAZ-ING! I think we both wanted to try a couple of things so that’s why we chose these two. Luckily the honey chicken is in one of the recipe books I got.  Definitely going to try it one time and I’ll post about it when I do.

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The ambiance was lovely too.

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After dinner we went and got a couple of sweets at the caramel shop in the German Pavilion before heading back to our hotel.

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Not sure if I mentioned already but Werther’s Original totally reminds me of my grandmother.  She loved their hard candies.

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By the time we left Germany, the park was officially closed and we had to head back to our room.

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The only thing that kept me from being totally depressed was that we were headed to the cruise the next morning so we had something to look forward to.

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Well that ends our Disney World portion of the vacation and 1/2 of the trip down.  I hope these are easier to read now that I’m splitting them out a little more.  Let me know if you have any tips or if there’s anything you’d like to see that maybe I got to but missed posting about!

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Day 5, Part 1- Downtown Disney

This is our last day at Disney World and we did a few different things I’m going to start out this post with the first half of our day which was spent at Downtown Disney (now Disney Springs which happened a few months after our trip) then the next post will be the rest of the day.

Our cousins wnated to sleep in and didn’t care to go to Downtown Disney so my aunt and I got a quick breakfast at the morning coffee bar at the hotel.

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Then took the bus over to Downtown Disney. We mapped out the place and circled the shops we wanted to visit while there since it’s so big.

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Day 4- Magic Kingdom

Well I was doing really well there on getting the trip report out!!! At least I’m almost 1/2 way done with the trip! I have been really busy with a lot of life complications that I’ll explain on my other blog but for now, lets get into day 4 of our trip!

We decided to grab a quick breakfast at the lounge area of our hotel.

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The lounge area was really neat and had a vintage library room feel.

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I loved the old toys and games they displayed on the bookshelves along with the books.

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Not that I want to keep complaining about the weather, but this gives you an idea of how humid it was… And us Californians with our dry heat are not used to this much moisture in the air! I know… We’re wimps!

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After our quick breakfast (which consisted of another bagel…), we walked through Epcot to get to the Monorail to head over to the Magic Kingdom. We had a friendly little hello from a squirrel.  He was pretty cute.

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So, apparently we can’t swim into Epcot from the Boardwalk… Bummer…

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Even the Manhole covers have hidden Mickeys on them.

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Ah, beautiful World Showcase.

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There’s the monorail!

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The Imagination Pavilion.

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Fountain by Spaceship Earth.

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Leave a Legacy at the entrance in Epcot.  They don’t let you add your picture anymore but it’s pretty cool to see who has.

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My cousins were bummed they couldn’t add anything…

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The big Spaceship Earth Ball.  That thing is so freaking huge!!!

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Made our way out of Epcot to head towards the Monorail.

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Scooter brigade following their leader! They look like three big kids!

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Had to take advantage of the great view of the ball.

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Got on the Monorail almost immediately.

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There is so much more room than Disneyland’s monorail!  We fit my aunt’s scooter in the middle of our space and our cousins’ were in another car on the same monorail.

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Pretty views of the resort.

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It took maybe 5 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom.

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My only glimpse of The Grand Floridian (no joke, I wrote Californian… Oops!) and I definitely plan on making a stop there next time I visit to take a look around.

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There’s the castle!

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I know it’s blurry, but I was excited to see the inside of the Contemporary Resort! Besides, we were moving fast and my photo taking skills aren’t amazing…

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Outside of the Contemporary. I would love to stay here sometime! I’d love to stay anywhere who am I kidding but with a view of the Magic Kingdom and easy access to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot via the Monorail?! Who could ask for more?!

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The best view I got of Space Mountain.

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We made it!!!

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The front of the Main Street Train Station looks like a bigger version of the Disneyland one.

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Seeing this sign at Disneyland always turns me into a kid, and it was no different at the Magic Kingdom!

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Everything is so much bigger here!

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Definitely similar in looks but a lot bigger.

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Taking a casual stroll down Main Street.

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We stopped to take a picture with Walt and Mickey.

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This nice family offered to take our picture together.

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We had a fastpass that morning for the Seven Dwarves Mine Train so we made our way to Fantasyland. They were working on the front of the castle so we had to make a detour through the side entrance by Liberty Square.

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So pretty!!!

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Magic Kingdom marker.

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La Fontain de Cendrillon.

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See, that’s what it says…

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Backside of the castle.

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Hi Minnie!

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I was a doofus and forgot to put sunscreen on my pale body so we had to stop and get some so I didn’t become one giant red blister…

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Love the beanstalk vines climbing up Sir Mickey’s shop.

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Seven Dwarves Mine Train was shut down for a bit so we had to put off our fast pass and we decided to hit some of the other rides in Fantasyland while we waited.  Our first attraction was Mickey’s PhilharMagic which I was really excited to see and I loved it!

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We sat in the handicap section.

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The ride was up and running after PhilharMagic so we headed over to Seven Dwarves Mine Train!

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I love that there is more representation of the princesses such as Rapunzel’s tower.

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Of course you can dine with Belle and the Beast too which we would have loved to do but it’s next to impossible to make reservations there as it’s so popular… Next time though!

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Finally off to the Mine Train!

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I love the queue!!!

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We were right in the front row.  It’s like Big Thunder where really being in the back is more fun but I am glad we got the front for our first time.

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Yay! This by far is my favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom!

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I had to get these pictures from the ride as I have never seen happier faces!!! Four of the biggest kids!

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You end the ride seeing Snow White dancing with the dwarves.

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Ooo… Be careful, Snow… Don’t take any of her apples! Especially the red one.

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Our cousins wanted a little break so my aunt and I headed for it’s a small world.

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This is the first ride of our trip I was truly able to compare to Disneyland and I have to say I love Disneyland’s way better… Not only the façade but also the ride itself.  I still love the ride though.

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Selfie time! I do feel guilty for not taking more people pictures on our trip…

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Au Revoir Small World!

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I hope Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum aren’t harassing that poor little girl.  She doesn’t look too happy.  I wouldn’t be either especially with the Queen of Hearts standing behind me!

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Around lunch time we decided to head over to Liberty Square and had lunch at the Columbia Harbour House.

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The Fish and Chips were amazing! Super crunchy! I got the combo with the nuggets in case I didn’t like them (and because I’m 5 apparently) but there were so good!

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Our cousins had a hankering for a funnel cake after lunch and the Sleepy Hollow restaurant nearby sold them so I walked through some of the shops while they sat and had their dessert.

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Couldn’t miss out on the Christmas Shoppe!

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I got stuck on the other side of where there while the Festival of Fantasy parade went on so I figured I might as well enjoy it.

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Hi Ariel!

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I loved the Peter Pan float!

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And what’s a Disney parade without miss Tinker Bell! My absolute favorite!

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Merida’s float was pretty cool too.

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I got this picture totally by accident!

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The Fantasia Float.

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Of course Mickey and Minnie are the stars of the parade!

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The end. I am not really a parade person as I don’t like wasting several hours to wait while I could be going on rides or doing something better with my time but this was an amazing parade and I’m very happy I got to see it.

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We took advantage of being nearby the Haunted Mansion.

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I will admit they have better queue, but I like our mansion and ride overall better.

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The Queue was interactive.  If you put your hand on one of the instruments of this mausoleum, it would play that instrument.

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I love the nod to Thurl Ravenscroft. Not only did he voice the narrator for the Haunted Mansion, he voiced many other characters for Disney.

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This one was my favorite.

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Oh so THAT’S where Madame Leota is buried…

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It’s beautiful, and probably goes along better with the Liberty Square theme, but I like our mansion much better.

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I took a quick walk through Memento Mori which is the only all Haunted Mansion store (we don’t even have one in Disneyland). I didn’t get anything as I’m not a huge Mansion fan… (Don’t hurt me, I’m just a big chicken!)

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The liberty bell.

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We were all looking forward to seeing the Hall of Presidents.

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Lobby area.

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We sat in the back again which is nice because it’s high up enough so no heads are in your way. It was really cool to see all of the presidents together.

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After that, we walked through Fantasyland to get to Tomorrowland and saw Tigger and Pooh off to do something important.

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Now was my turn to get a sweet.  I was looking forward to getting one of the layered cake cups at the Cheshire Café and man it did NOT disappoint!

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Look at all of that sugary/cakey goodness! It was sooooo good! I wish they had these in Disneyland!

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We wanted to get out of the heat so we went in and saw Carousel of Progress which I was looking forward to seeing. It left Disneyland several years before I was born.

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It was neat to see the different new inventions in each decade they showcased.

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After Carousel of Progress, we split off from our cousins because they were pretty tired and they were going to park their scooters early to rest and wait to see the parade and fireworks.  So my aunt and I went off to go on the Peoplemover and even though it’s different, I never thought I’d have the chance to go on the Peoplemover ever again in my life since it left Disneyland in the early nineties and it was also one of my favorites as a child.

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They even have the escalating walkway like the Disneyland one had.

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So excited! We got a front car too so after taking this picture, my aunt and I sat on her side and had a great view from the attraction.

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The ride brings you all around Tomorrowland.

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After Peoplemover, we went through a couple shops in the area.

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Then we made our way back to the castle.

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So we could walk through to see the beautiful mosaics of Cinderella’s story.

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So pretty!
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It was getting into early evening and we wanted a good spot to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade so we headed over to walk through the rest of the park.

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The Diamond Horseshoe (I didn’t know they had one…) looks just like the Golden Horseshoe in Disneyland just a little bigger.

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Another thing that I was super excited to do and never thought I’d be able to see again is the Country Bear Jamboree.  My dad and I LOVED this show!

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Glad to see Max, Buff, and Melvin again. If you’re in Disneyland and go on The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country, once you enter the Hunny Heaven room, turn around and you’ll see them hanging on the back of the wall.

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We were getting pretty tired and wanted to get a good spot on Main Street for the parade so we headed for a quick walk through Adventureland.

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Pirates was closed for a refurb so we couldn’t go on it anyway.

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I’m not sure if the Tiki Room Under New Management is still running but we skipped this attraction just in case because I heard it was awful and I didn’t want to taint my love of The Tiki Room.

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I love the look of the shops though. Has an outdoorsy market vibe.

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Watch out, he spits… No really, he does.  It’s a good way to cool off I guess.  The kids were enjoying it.

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The Magic Kingdom still has the original Swiss Family Robinson too.  I love the Swiss Family Robinson movie and was bummed to see it replaced in Disneyland but Tarzan’s Treehouse is neat too and they have a nod to the old treehouse by playing Swisskapolka on the gramophone at the bottom of the treehouse.

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My aunt wasn’t feeling all that well and decided to skip dinner. I just grabbed some corndog bites at Casey’s Corner and they were just okay.

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We parked her scooter and I sat on the sidewalk in front of it and we had a little big of time to rest.  Here’s Roe E Disney’s window.

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My aunt wanted to go into a couple of shops quickly so I had a quick facetime with my mom and my cousin who she was visiting down in LA for a couple of days so it was good to talk with them.  And I had to get in a selfie with my ears on.

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Before we knew it, the sun set and we were getting close to seeing the parade. This cute little girl and her parents were sitting next to us on the sidewalk and almost immediately, she comes up to me and told me that she was four and she loves Minnie (I was decked out in Minnie gear) and she talked to me for close to an hour. She was so cute.

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It was finally getting to be time for the parade. So many memories of things I loved as a child. It was great to relive them!

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A couple of minutes after the parade they had, Celebrate the Magic, a projected show on the castle.

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It was kind of hard to see some of the projections from the pictures but mainly showed some of the more popular animated movies such as Frozen, Alice in Wonderland, Wreck it Ralph, Rapunzel, and some others.

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Shortly after, they performed the fireworks, Wishes Nighttime Spectacular.

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No one does fireworks better than Disney.

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We were super tired after the fireworks so we did a little bit of shopping on Main Street and decided to head back to the hotel.  We had to take the bus back because the Monorail drops you off at the other entrance to Epcot and it was closed by then.  We did take the monorail to the parking drop off because that’s where we were told we had to go for the busses but it turns out they pick up right outside of the entrance to the park… Oops…

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Instead of taking the Monorail back, we thought it would be fun to take the Ferryboat.

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We finally found where we were supposed to go.

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Finally on our way back to our hotel room.

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We had an amazing day at the Magic Kingdom and it was very nostalgic for me and I can’t wait to go back.  Up next will be our last day at Disney World and since these seem to run really long, I’m going to start splitting up the days into parts with my trip reports so they are easier to read. Maybe easier to get out as well!  I hope you’re enjoying my trip reports and I will start working more on these once things die down a bit in a couple of weeks.

Disney World/Disney Cruise Day 1- Journey to Florida

I am back from my trip! I can’t believe it came and went so fast! It was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

We left Sacramento International Airport on June 10th in the morning. We have a cute small airport in Sacramento and it’s very easy to navigate. We went out of the newer terminal which I have never been in before and they had a beautiful chandelier in the food area near outer gate.

IMG_0091 We had one stop in Las Vegas but we didn’t have to get off of the plane but we didn’t get to Orlando until close to 9 at night. With the 3 hour difference that was roughly 8ish hours of flying.

The airport had different stores for the main attractions in the Orlando area including Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, and the Kennedy Space Center. IMG_0092

There is also a big Hyatt Hotel right in the middle of the airport.  IMG_0094_2

We wandered around the airport a little bit trying to figure out how to get to Disney’s Magical Express and finally found a sign pointing the way.

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Couple minutes later, more signs…

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Couple more minutes, and we finally got to Disney’s Magical Express.

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We got outside and in line to get on the bus and I got my first experience with humidity.  I realize why the rest of the country thinks Californians are weather wimps… They do don’t they? I’ll never complain about humidity in California ever again.  Not even when at the ocean!

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About a half hour later we got to the Walt Disney World Resort and two stops later we were at our hotel.  We stayed near Epcot at the Boardwalk Inn.

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The hotel is beautiful!

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IMG_0043IMG_0042 The hotel is split between the Inn side and the Villas for DVC members which I am not one but if I ever won the lottery I most certainly would be!

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Finally we got inside an air-conditioned much drier room.

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They had a little area with pamphlets and a miniature model of one of Disney’s ships which we would be on in 5 days!

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The lobby was big and the them of this hotel is turn of the century Atlantic City and I loved the architecture. IMG_0051

IMG_0060While checking in they gave me a First Visit button, my cousins got Anniversary buttons for their 60th (yes, 60th!) wedding anniversary, and my aunt got a celebrate button for her retirement.
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I loved the lobby. It’s so beautiful!

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Nice relaxing seating area by a fireplace which wasn’t necessary for June but they had it on anyway…

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The carousel on top of the circular sofa moved every 15 minutes.
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The chandelier above the sofa was really cool!

IMG_0106After checking in, we went down the hall to the elevator.
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There were beautiful paintings on the wall that reminded me of a Thomas Kinkaid painting.

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There is a bar/breakfast area on the way to the elevators.

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There was a beautiful curio cabinet in the elevator waiting area.

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We were on the first floor (the lobby is technically the second floor because the boardwalk itself is lower than the entrance to the hotel) and WAY down the hallway almost to the end of the hotel it seemed.

IMG_0116_2We finally got to our adjoining rooms and they were very spacious and I saw the famous Mickey Ears  towel laying on one of the beds.  IMG_0062

I want to learn how to make these!

IMG_0120_2Wall art of postcards of Mickey and Minnie’s travels. IMG_0088

IMG_0071We had a flat screen TV with a couple of USB plebs below it to charge electronics. We didn’t turn the TV on once.  IMG_0063

IMG_0064I love the Minnie Mouse Lamp on the desk.

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Hidden Mickey on the desk leg.

IMG_0080More Hidden Mickeys on the sconces between the beds.
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Boardwalk Curtains

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Our patio.

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Bathroom Sink area.

IMG_0117I love the ferris wheel pattern on the shower curtain.

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I like the blue and green tiles in the shower too.

IMG_0086After getting our luggage and everything settled in the rooms we set off to see if there was any place open to get something to eat because we were starving!
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The back part of the hotel opens out onto the boardwalk.

IMG_0138There was an adorable floral display of Lady and the Tramp from the area in the picture above.

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It was really pretty at night along the water.

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The only place left open was a pizza window so we had to eat outside but at least it was fast.

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There’s quite a bit to do on the boardwalk and even a little general store that had a few grocery items like milk, water, cereal, and snacks.

IMG_0133After our quick bite, we headed back to our rooms to get to bed so we could make an early start to our first day in Epcot. I’ll start working on day two immediately and get it posted within the week!

Back to the Grind

Just wanted to stop in and say that I’m back from my trip and going through some withdrawal depression at the moment.  I think about my dad a lot this time of year (not sure if it’s because he passed away just after Christmas, the holidays in general, or a combination of both) and being at Disneyland heightened that so I missed him a lot  Disneyland is just different without him but I know he’s there with us.  We try to stop by to see his stone every day we’re at the resort.

Anyway, I’m going to start working on my trip report as soon as possible (I have a TON of pictures to go through) and I’ll have a review of Frozen coming up soon as well and I’m trying to come up with some other topics as well so hopefully that’ll be coming up soon.

I will say that we had a nice vacation but I highly recommend avoiding Disneyland the week of Thanksgiving (or any other holiday or time that children are out of school!) because I have NEVER seen it so packed in all of the times we’ve been there! Also, if you’re going in three or more days, spread them out. Don’t do them all in a row without a break in between because it’s too tiring!

If you’re stopping by and have a topic of some sort you’d like me to write about, please let me know in a comment below! I’d love to hear feedback and ideas from you!