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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Disney World Trip!

This past May, I went to DISNEYWORLD!! If you couldn't tell from the caps, I was pretty excited about. As a long time, Disney and Disneyland fan, I have always wanted to go to Disney World. So, when my friend and I saw that a conference was happening in Orlando, we made sure to put in a proposal to present so we could attend. Well, they accepted our proposal (because we are awesome) and suddenly my dreams of going were a reality!

I convinced my husband that this was a great opportunity and that we should turn it in to a family vacation. At first, he was hesitant, as he did not want to take our 9 month old daughter on a long plane ride. I got where he was coming from, but I could tell she would be a good traveler and thought we would be ok. So, he finally agreed and the planning began! Aurora did awesome the whole trip, I was so proud of what a good traveler she really is!! :)

We decided to stay on resort (helps that the conference hotel was sold out) and ended up going with the Fort Wilderness Cabins. We originally were going to stay at another hotel, but my Mom was also going to join us and felt a standard hotel room would be a bit cramped! So, she upgraded us to the Cabins!

The Fort Wilderness Resort was AWESOME! It did make more sense to be there with so many people as we had a full kitchen, a full bathroom, and my Mom had a cool murphy bed in the living room! That way, we each had our own space, and a night, we could put Aurora down in the bedroom, and we could still be up chatting and getting ready for the next day without bothering her. The resort also had an awesome restaurant, Trail's End, which had a wonderful dinner buffet. We liked it so much we went twice! We didn't leave ourselves any free days, so we did not get to utilize the resort as much as we would have liked. So, we will definitely be returning here someday!!

Our first day, we went to Epcot. I was like a child that morning as I was SO excited! When the bus pulled up that said Epcot, I literally squealed in excitement! We were on our way to our first park!! The bus was a pretty quick ride (the whole bus system is awesome and really makes staying on a resort worth it)! As soon as we pulled up, I saw the huge iconic ball, and was thrilled beyond belief! We got in pretty quickly and high tailed it to the World Showcase. I kept thinking, wow, it is so calm today, no one is here, this is amazing! Well, come to find out the World Showcase doesn't open until 11! No wonder no one was there yet! So, we made our way back to the front, and did the space ride (well Aurora and my Mom sat that one out!) and it was really fun. Then we walked over to the Nemo Ride with our fastpass. It was a fun ride which Aurora loved but what she really loved was the huge aquarium that you end at! I had no idea they had an aquarium! We saw rays, turtles, manatees, dolphins, and so many other fish. Aurora, was in love with the aquarium! I think she would have been happy there all day! But, it was now past 11, and I knew Princess Aurora was going to be in France and I needed my Aurora to meet the princess, so we hiked it over to the World Showcase! We spent the rest of the day here and LOVED it. All the countries, all the food, all the excitement! We also got to meet Mulan, who was so good with Aurora and spent a lot of time with her! We also did the ride in Norway which was similar to Pirates. We ended the night with their firework show which was really cool. Aurora again surprised me as she wasn't phased at all! It was SO loud, and if I didn't already know she could hear, I would worry she was deaf as she did not react at all to the noise! After the show, we made our way back to our cabin to get ready for the next day!

The Animal Kingdom was next. This became my Mom and Jon's favorite of the parks. I sadly was only there for a couple hours as I had to leave early to go present (you know, the whole reason we got to come here in the first place...!). I couldn't get a fastpass for the safari so we ran to that first as it was the one thing I really wanted to do! Luckily, it wasn't crowded again, and we got on in 15 minutes! It was a very cool ride! They actually drive you around their open park area where the animals are just chillin. The animals were actually really close to us and we saw a ton, the coolest being the elephants! After, we walked through one of the trails that they have to see more animals. We also then rushed to the Dinosaur area so we could ride the Dinosaur ride, which was really fun!

The next day, we actually went off Disney property and went to Universal Studios, Island of Adventure! Basically, we were going for one part of the park, Harry Potter!! And it was better than I imagined! They really have made the books and movie come to life there! The castle ride they have is probably one of the best rides I have ever taken (sorry, Disney!)! We loved it so much we rode it twice (and I really was trying for a third time!). Just walking down the street and seeing Honeydukes, Hogwarts, Hogwarts Express, eating lunch and drinking ButterBeer at the three broomsticks, was absolutely amazing. The only bummer was the that we missed the opening of Diagon Alley by 2 weeks! But that just means we will have to come back :)

Our last full day of our trip, we saved for the Magic Kingdom! I am glad we saved it for last because it was a FULL day! We met a ton of characters (Ariel, Tinkerbell, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Belle, Minnie Mouse, Daisy Duck, and more I am forgetting!). I really liked the new Fantasyland that they have. Having all the castles there just makes it look so magical. I think my favorite ride though was the People Mover, because I loved that ride at Disneyland, and because Aurora LOVED it! She laughed and smiled the whole time! It was so cute! We also did Jungle Cruise, Pirates (totally not the same as Disneyland!), Ariel's ride, and I think others but now I am forgetting! We also did the Tiki Room, which was another big hit with Aurora! And my favorite, getting Dole Whip after! Then we watched their Castle and Firework show. The castle show, if very, very cool! They put all these images on the castle and it was amazing what they could do and they even made it appear as if it were moving at times! We kept meaning to leave, but, then would get caught up by something, like the shows, or buying presents, or seeing a sign for Snow White and "Princess" which I had to go see! So, we were there for a good 12 hours and I loved every minute! Oh, totally forgot to mention we also got to eat at Be Our Guest! This is the Beast's castle and they have three rooms decorated just like from the movie. It was again, amazing! Best part though was having dessert, I had - "try the gray stuff, its delicious!" and it really was! :)

Overall, this trip was better than I even imagined. I knew I would love it, but I loved it so much! I can't wait until we can plan our next trip out there as there is still so much to see!! :)